DNA-templated silver nanoclusters: structural correlation and fluorescence modulation
12 years after the introduction of DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs), exciting progress has been made and yet we are still in the midst of trying to fully understand this nanomaterial. The prominent excellence of DNA-AgNCs is undoubtedly its modulatable emission property, of which how variation in DNA templates causes emission tuning remains elusive. Based on the up-to-date DNA-AgNCs, we aim to establish the correlation between the structure/sequence of DNA templates and emission behaviour of AgNCs. Herein, we systematically present a wide-range of DNA-AgNCs based on the structural complexity of the DNA templates, including single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), triple-stranded DNA (tsDNA) and DNA nanostructures. For each DNA category, we discuss the emission property, quantum yield and synthesis condition of the respective AgNCs, before cross-comparing the impact of different DNA scaffolds on the properties of AgNCs. A future outlook for this area is given as a conclusion. By putting the information together, this review may shed new light on understanding DNA-AgNCs while we are expecting continuous breakthroughs in this field.