Programming nanoparticle valence bonds with single-stranded DNA encoders

Guangbao Yao, Jiang Li, Qian Li, Xiaoliang Chen, Xiaoguo Liu, Fei Wang, Zhibei Qu, Zhilei Ge, Raghu Pradeep Narayanan, Dewight Williams, Hao Pei, Xiaolei Zuo, Lihua Wang, Hao Yan, Ben L. Feringa, Chunhai Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Nature has evolved strategies to encode information within a single biopolymer to program biomolecular interactions with characteristic stoichiometry, orthogonality and reconfigurability. Nevertheless, synthetic approaches for programming molecular reactions or assembly generally rely on the use of multiple polymer chains (for example, patchy particles). Here we demonstrate a method for patterning colloidal gold nanoparticles with valence bond analogues using single-stranded DNA encoders containing polyadenine (polyA). By programming the order, length and sequence of each encoder with alternating polyA/non-polyA domains, we synthesize programmable atom-like nanoparticles (PANs) with n-valence that can be used to assemble a spectrum of low-coordination colloidal molecules with different composition, size, chirality and linearity. Moreover, by exploiting the reconfigurability of PANs, we demonstrate dynamic colloidal bond-breaking and bond-formation reactions, structural rearrangement and even the implementation of Boolean logic operations. This approach may be useful for generating responsive functional materials for distinct technological applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-788
Number of pages8
JournalNature materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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