Non-equilibrium anisotropic colloidal single crystal growth with DNA

Soyoung E. Seo, Martin Girard, Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Chad A. Mirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Anisotropic colloidal crystals are materials with novel optical and electronic properties. However, experimental observations of colloidal single crystals have been limited to relatively isotropic habits. Here, we show DNA-mediated crystallization of two types of nanoparticles with different hydrodynamic radii that form highly anisotropic, hexagonal prism microcrystals with AB2 crystallographic symmetry. The DNA directs the nanoparticles to assemble into a non-equilibrium crystal shape that is enclosed by the highest surface energy facets (AB2(101 ¯ 0) and AB2(0001)). Simulations and theoretical arguments show that this observation is a consequence of large energy barriers between different terminations of the AB2(101 ¯ 0) facet, which results in a significant deceleration of the (101 ¯ 0) facet growth rate. In addition to reporting a hexagonal colloidal crystal habit, this work introduces a potentially general plane multiplicity mechanism for growing non-equilibrium crystal shapes, an advance that will be useful for designing colloidal crystal habits with important applications in both optics and photocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4558
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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