Cooperative colloidal self-assembly of metal-protein superlattice wires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number671
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Researchers

Research units

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Abstract

Material properties depend critically on the packing and order of constituent units throughout length scales. Beyond classically explored molecular self-assembly, structure formation in the nanoparticle and colloidal length scales have recently been actively explored for new functions. Structure of colloidal assemblies depends strongly on the assembly process, and higher structural control can be reliably achieved only if the process is deterministic. Here we show that self-assembly of cationic spherical metal nanoparticles and anionic rod-like viruses yields well-defined binary superlattice wires. The superlattice structures are explained by a cooperative assembly pathway that proceeds in a zipper-like manner after nucleation. Curiously, the formed superstructure shows right-handed helical twisting due to the right-handed structure of the virus. This leads to structure-dependent chiral plasmonic function of the material. The work highlights the importance of well-defined colloidal units when pursuing unforeseen and complex assemblies.

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