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Issue 24, 2010
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Universal two-step crystallization of DNA-functionalized nanoparticles

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Abstract

We examine the crystallization dynamics of nanoparticles reversibly tethered by DNA hybridization. We show that the crystallization happens readily only in a narrow temperature “slot”, and always proceeds via a two-step process, mediated by a highly-connected amorphous intermediate. For lower temperature quenches, the dynamics of unzipping strands in the amorphous state is sufficiently slow that crystallization is kinetically hindered. This accounts for the well-documented difficulty of forming crystals in these systems. The strong parallel to the crystallization behavior of proteins and colloids suggests that these disparate systems crystallize in an apparently universal manner.

Graphical abstract: Universal two-step crystallization of DNA-functionalized nanoparticles

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Article information


Submitted
07 Jun 2010
Accepted
12 Aug 2010
First published
30 Sep 2010

Soft Matter, 2010,6, 6130-6135
Article type
Paper

Universal two-step crystallization of DNA-functionalized nanoparticles

W. Dai, S. K. Kumar and F. W. Starr, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 6130
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00484G

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