Prescribing Silver Chirality with DNA Origami

Yinan Zhang, Zhi Bei Qu, Chu Jiang, Yingying Liu, Raghu Pradeep Narayanan, Dewight Williams, Xiaolei Zuo, Lihua Wang, Hao Yan, Huajie Liu, Chunhai Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Metal nanostructures of chiral geometry interacting with light via surface plasmon resonances can produce tailorable optical activity with their structural alterations. However, bottom-up fabrication of arbitrary chiral metal nanostructures with precise size and morphology remains a synthetic challenge. Here we develop a DNA origami-enabled aqueous solution metallization strategy to prescribe the chirality of silver nanostructures in three dimensions. We find that diamine silver(I) complexes coordinate with the bases of prescribed single-stranded protruding clustered DNA (pcDNA) on DNA origami via synergetic interactions including coordination, hydrogen bonds, and ion-πinteraction, which induce site-specific pcDNA condensation and local enrichment of silver precursors that lowers the activation energy for nucleation. Using tubular DNA origami-based metallization, we obtain helical silver patterns up to a micrometer in length with well-defined chirality and pitches. We further demonstrate tailorable plasmonic optical activity of metallized chiral silver nanostructures. This method opens new pathways to synthesize programmable inorganic materials with arbitrary morphology and chirality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8639-8646
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 16 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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