Photo-responsive nanomaterials hold great promise for realizing information processing devices, micro-machines, and biosensors. Scalable assembly of such materials using mesostructured liquids, such as liquid crystals, remains a challenge due to the poor compatibility of nanostructures and the host medium. Here we demonstrate a new type of colloidal dispersion of plasmonic DNA-origami with photo-switchable chirality in cellulose nanofiber-based liquid crystals. The composite material inherits properties of DNA-origami plasmonic nanostructures, so that the composite’s chirality can be erased by ultraviolet light and recovered by visible light. The cellulose nanofibers provide a liquid crystalline host with weak optical birefringence, which barely affects the polarization of the incident light, so that the response is dominated by circular dichroism of uniformly dispersed plasmonic nanostructures. Our approach may serve as a new platform for scalable assembling DNA origami-templated nanomaterials.
Liu, Q., Kuzyk, A., Endo, M., & Smalyukh, I. (2019). Colloidal plasmonic DNA-origami with photo-switchable chirality in liquid crystals. Optics Letters, 44(11), 2831-2834. https://doi.org/10.1364/OL.44.002831