Regioselective surface encoding of nanoparticles for programmable self-assembly

Gang Chen, Kyle J. Gibson, Di Liu, Huw C. Rees, Jung Hoon Lee, Weiwei Xia, Ruoqian Lin, Huolin L. Xin, Oleg Gang, Yossi Weizmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Surface encoding of colloidal nanoparticles with DNA is fundamental for fields where recognition interaction is required, particularly controllable material self-assembly. However, regioselective surface encoding of nanoparticles is still challenging because of the difficulty associated with breaking the identical chemical environment on nanoparticle surfaces. Here we demonstrate the selective blocking of nanoparticle surfaces with a diblock copolymer (polystyrene-b-polyacrylic acid). By tuning the interfacial free energies of a ternary system involving the nanoparticles, solvent and copolymer, controllable accessibilities to the nanoparticles’ surfaces are obtained. Through the modification of the polymer-free surface region with single-stranded DNA, regioselective and programmable surface encoding is realized. The resultant interparticle binding potential is selective and directional, allowing for an increased degree of complexity of potential self-assemblies. The versatility of this regioselective surface encoding strategy is demonstrated on various nanoparticles of isotropic or anisotropic shape and a total of 24 distinct complex nanoassemblies are fabricated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Regioselective surface encoding of nanoparticles for programmable self-assembly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this