Issue 16, 2014

Emerging double helical nanostructures


As one of the most important and land-mark structures found in nature, a double helix consists of two congruent single helices with the same axis or a translation along the axis. This double helical structure renders the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) the crucial biomolecule in evolution and metabolism. DNA-like double helical nanostructures are probably the most fantastic yet ubiquitous geometry at the nanoscale level, which are expected to exhibit exceptional and even rather different properties due to the unique organization of the two single helices and their synergistic effect. The organization of nanomaterials into double helical structures is an emerging hot topic for nanomaterials science due to their promising exceptional unique properties and applications. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art research progress for the fabrication of double-helical nanostructures based on ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ strategies. The relevant nanoscale, mesoscale, and macroscopic scale fabrication methods, as well as the properties of the double helical nanostructures are included. Critical perspectives are devoted to the synthesis principles and potential applications in this emerging research area. A multidisciplinary approach from the scope of nanoscience, physics, chemistry, materials, engineering, and other application areas is still required to the well-controlled and large-scale synthesis, mechanism, property, and application exploration of double helical nanostructures.

Graphical abstract: Emerging double helical nanostructures

Article information

Article type
Review Article
16 Jan 2014
24 Feb 2014
First published
25 Feb 2014

Nanoscale, 2014,6, 9339-9354

Author version available

Emerging double helical nanostructures

M. Zhao, Q. Zhang, G. Tian and F. Wei, Nanoscale, 2014, 6, 9339 DOI: 10.1039/C4NR00271G

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