New York, NY–March 19, 2020–Columbia Engineering researchers, working with Brookhaven National Laboratory, report at the moment that they’ve constructed designed nanoparticle-based 3D supplies that may stand up to a vacuum, excessive temperatures, excessive strain, and excessive radiation. This new fabrication course of ends in sturdy and totally engineered nanoscale frameworks that not solely can accommodate a wide range of useful nanoparticle sorts but additionally could be rapidly processed with standard nanofabrication strategies.

“These self-assembled nanoparticles-based materials are so resilient that they could fly in space,” says Oleg Gang, professor of engineering and of applied physics and materials science, who led the research printed at the moment by Science Advances. “We were able to transition 3D DNA-nanoparticle architectures from liquid state–and from being a pliable material–to solid state, where silica re-enforces DNA struts. This new material fully maintains its original framework architecture of DNA-nanoparticle lattice, essentially creating a 3D inorganic replica. This allowed us to explore–for the first time–how these nanomaterials can battle harsh conditions, how they form, and what their properties are.”

Material properties are totally different on the nanoscale and researchers have lengthy been exploring find out how to use these tiny materials–1,000 to 10,000 instances smaller than the thickness of a human hair–in all types of functions, from making sensors for telephones to constructing quicker chips for laptops. Fabrication methods, nonetheless, have been difficult in realizing 3D nano-architectures. DNA nanotechnology allows the creation of complexly organized supplies from nanoparticles by means of self-assembly, however given the tender and environment-dependent nature of DNA, such supplies could be secure beneath solely a slender vary of circumstances. In distinction, the newly fashioned supplies can now be utilized in a broad vary of functions the place these engineered constructions are required. While standard nanofabrication excels in creating planar constructions, Gang’s new technique permits for fabrication of 3D nanomaterials which are turning into important to so many digital, optical, and power functions.

Gang, who holds a joint appointment as group chief of the Soft and Bio Nanomaterials Group at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials, is on the forefront of DNA nanotechnology, which depends on folding DNA chain into desired two and three-dimensional nanostructures. These nanostructures turn out to be constructing blocks that may be programmed by way of Watson-Crick interactions to self-assemble into 3D architectures. His group designs and kinds these DNA nanostructures, integrates them with nanoparticles and directs the meeting of focused nanoparticle-based supplies. And, now, with this new method, the workforce can transition these supplies from being tender and fragile to stable and sturdy.

This new research demonstrates an environment friendly technique for changing 3D DNA-nanoparticle lattices into silica replicas, whereas sustaining the topology of the interparticle connections by DNA struts and the integrity of the nanoparticle group. Silica works nicely as a result of it helps retain the nanostructure of the father or mother DNA lattice, kinds a sturdy forged of the underlying DNA and doesn’t have an effect on nanoparticles preparations.

“The DNA in such lattices takes on the properties of silica,” says Aaron Michelson, a PhD scholar from Gang’s group. “It becomes stable in air and can be dried and allows for 3D nanoscale analysis of the material for the first time in real space. Moreover, silica provides strength and chemical stability, it’s low-cost and can be modified as needed–it’s a very convenient material.”

To study extra concerning the properties of their nanostructures, the workforce uncovered the transformed to silica DNA-nanoparticles lattices to excessive circumstances: excessive temperatures above 1,0000C and excessive mechanical stresses over 8GPa (about 80,000 instances greater than ambiance strain, or 80 instances greater than on the deepest ocean place, the Mariana trench), and studied these processes in-situ. To gauge the constructions’ viability for functions and additional processing steps, the researchers additionally uncovered them to excessive doses of radiation and targeted ion beams.

“Our analysis of the applicability of these structures to couple with traditional nanofabrication techniques demonstrates a truly robust platform for generating resilient nanomaterials via DNA-based approaches for discovering their novel properties,” Gang notes. “This is a big step forward, as these specific properties mean that we can use our 3D nanomaterial assembly and still access the full range of conventional materials processing steps. This integration of novel and conventional nanofabrication methods is needed to achieve advances in mechanics, electronics, plasmonics, photonics, superconductivity, and energy materials.”

Collaborations based mostly on Gang’s work have already led to novel superconductivity and conversion of the silica to conductive and semiconductive media for additional processing. These embrace an earlier research printed by Nature Communications and one just lately printed by Nano Letters. The researchers are additionally planning to switch the construction to make a broad vary of supplies with extremely fascinating mechanical and optical properties.

“Computers have been made with silicon for over 40 years,” Gang provides. “It took four decades to push the fabrication down to about 10 nm for planar structures and devices. Now we can make and assemble nanoobjects in a test tube in a couple of hours without expensive tools. Eight billion connections on a single lattice can now be orchestrated to self-assemble through nanoscale processes that we can engineer. Each connection could be a transistor, a sensor, or an optical emitter–each can be a bit of data stored. While Moore’s law is slowing, the programmability of DNA assembly approaches is there to carry us forward for solving problems in novel materials and nanomanufacturing. While this has been extremely challenging for current methods, it is enormously important for emerging technologies.”


About the Study

The research is titled “Resilient Three-Dimensional Ordered Architectures Assembled from Nanoparticles by DNA.”

Authors are: Pawel W. Majewski 1,2, Aaron Michelson3, Marco A. L. Cordeiro1, Cheng Tian1, Chunli Ma1, Kim Kisslinger1, Ye Tian1, Wenyan Liu1, Eric A. Stach3, Kevin G. Yager1, Oleg Gang1, 3, 5

1Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory

2Department of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, Poland

3Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University

4Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

5Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University

The research was supported by US Department of Defense, Army Research Office, W911NF-19-1-0395. This analysis used assets of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials and the National Synchrotron Light Source II, that are U.S. DOE Office of Science Facilities, at Brookhaven National Laboratory beneath Contract No. DE-SC0012704. The DNA design work was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Grant DE-SC0008772.

The authors declare no competing pursuits.



DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0617

Columbia Engineering

Columbia Engineering, based mostly in New York City, is likely one of the high engineering faculties within the U.S. and one of many oldest within the nation. Also often known as The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School expands data and advances expertise by means of the pioneering analysis of its greater than 220 school, whereas educating undergraduate and graduate college students in a collaborative surroundings to turn out to be leaders knowledgeable by a agency basis in engineering. The School’s school are on the middle of the University’s cross-disciplinary analysis, contributing to the Data Science Institute, Earth Institute, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Columbia Nano Initiative. Guided by its strategic imaginative and prescient, “Columbia Engineering for Humanity,” the School goals to translate concepts into improvements that foster a sustainable, wholesome, safe, linked, and artistic humanity.


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