Synthesis of tunable DNA-directed trepang-like Au nanocrystals for imaging application†
Multi-branched metal nanomaterials can exhibit precisely controllable plasmonic properties with the precise control of their sizes and morphologies. In this study, trepang-like gold nanocrystals (AuNCs) with tunable plasmonic properties were synthesized via DNA-directed self-assembly technology. The gold precursor was precisely controlled to be reduced and grow along the DNA skeleton of DNA-conjugated gold nanorods to form multi-branched trepang-like nanocrystals. It was investigated in detail and proven that several key factors greatly influenced the precise control of the morphology and plasmonic property of the proposed AuNCs during their synthesis, including the gold precursor, reducing agent, surfactant, loading amount of DNA and DNA structure. The relative finite-difference time-domain calculation results suggested that the change in the plasmonic resonance peak is consistent with the precise change in the size and morphology of the as-synthesized AuNCs. The trepang-like AuNCs exhibited broad absorption bands in the wavelength range of 700–1100 nm with a high photothermal conversion efficiency of 36.2%. Finally, the trepang-like AuNCs with good biocompatibility were applied in photothermal therapy and imaging analysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection