Probing in Real Time the Soft Crystallization of DNA-Capped Nanoparticles


  • We thank Dr. M. Kamperman and Prof. U. Wiesner for technical help and discussions as well as Prof. S. Gruner for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by NYSTAR and a NSF CAREER award (grant no. 0547330). R.L. acknowledges a graduate student fellowship from the Chinese Scholarship Council. K.S. acknowledges the Cornell NBTC for financial support within the REU program. CHESS is supported by the NSF and the NIH/NIGMS through NSF award DMR-0225180. We also acknowledge the use of the facilities of the Cornell CCMR, which is supported through NSF grant DMR 0520404, part of the NSF MRSEC Program.


original image

The crystallization events occurring in a drying droplet containing DNA-capped nanoparticles were probed by means of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS; the picture shows a series of 1D SAXS patterns recorded over time). Unusual nanoparticle supracrystals form that are both soft and elastic with continuously scalable crystalline states over a wide range of lattice constants.