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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Molecular engineering of chiral colloidal liquid crystals using DNA origami.

  • Author(s): Siavashpouri, Mahsa
  • Wachauf, Christian H
  • Zakhary, Mark J
  • Praetorius, Florian
  • Dietz, Hendrik
  • Dogic, Zvonimir
  • et al.

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Establishing precise control over the shape and the interactions of the microscopic building blocks is essential for design of macroscopic soft materials with novel structural, optical and mechanical properties. Here, we demonstrate robust assembly of DNA origami filaments into cholesteric liquid crystals, one-dimensional supramolecular twisted ribbons and two-dimensional colloidal membranes. The exquisite control afforded by the DNA origami technology establishes a quantitative relationship between the microscopic filament structure and the macroscopic cholesteric pitch. Furthermore, it also enables robust assembly of one-dimensional twisted ribbons, which behave as effective supramolecular polymers whose structure and elastic properties can be precisely tuned by controlling the geometry of the elemental building blocks. Our results demonstrate the potential synergy between DNA origami technology and colloidal science, in which the former allows for rapid and robust synthesis of complex particles, and the latter can be used to assemble such particles into bulk materials.

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