Modular assembly of superstructures from polyphenol-functionalized building blocks

Junling Guo, Blaise L. Tardy, Andrew J. Christofferson, Yunlu Dai, Joseph J. Richardson, Wei Zhu, Ming Hu, Yi Ju, Jiwei Cui, Raymond Riley Dagastine, Irene Yarovsky, Frank Caruso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


The organized assembly of particles into superstructures is typically governed by specific molecular interactions or external directing factors associated with the particle building blocks, both of which are particle-dependent. These superstructures are of interest to a variety of fields because of their distinct mechanical, electronic, magnetic and optical properties. Here, we establish a facile route to a diverse range of superstructures based on the polyphenol surface-functionalization of micro- and nanoparticles, nanowires, nanosheets, nanocubes and even cells. This strategy can be used to access a large number of modularly assembled superstructures, including core-satellite, hollow and hierarchically organized supraparticles. Colloidal-probe atomic force microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations provide detailed insights into the role of surface functionalization and how this facilitates superstructure construction. Our work provides a platform for the rapid generation of superstructured assemblies across a wide range of length scales, from nanometres to centimetres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1111
Number of pages7
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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