DNA Origami Route for Nanophotonics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
  • Braunschweig University of Technology
  • Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


The specificity and simplicity of the Watson–Crick base pair interactions make DNA one of the most versatile construction materials for creating nanoscale structures and devices. Among several DNA-based approaches, the DNA origami technique excels in programmable self-assembly of complex, arbitrary shaped structures with dimensions of hundreds of nanometers. Importantly, DNA origami can be used as templates for assembly of functional nanoscale components into three-dimensional structures with high precision and controlled stoichiometry. This is often beyond the reach of other nanofabrication techniques. In this Perspective, we highlight the capability of the DNA origami technique for realization of novel nanophotonic systems. First, we introduce the basic principles of designing and fabrication of DNA origami structures. Subsequently, we review recent advances of the DNA origami applications in nanoplasmonics, single-molecule and super-resolution fluorescent imaging, as well as hybrid photonic systems. We conclude by outlining the future prospects of the DNA origami technique for advanced nanophotonic systems with tailored functionalities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1163
Number of pages13
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

    Research areas

  • DNA origami, molecular self-assembly, plasmon coupling, active plasmonics, super-resolution microscopy, fluorescence enhancement

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