Professors Shana Kelley and Ted Sargent (he was last mentioned in my June 28, 2011 posting on colloidal quantum dots) have published their findings on quantum dots, self-assembly, and luninescence in Nature Nanotechnology. From the July 10, 2011 news item on Nanowerk,
“Nanotechnologists have for many years been captivated by quantum dots – particles of semiconductor that can absorb and emit light efficiently, and at custom-chosen wavelengths,” explained co-author Kelley, a Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the Department of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science. “What the community has lacked – until now – is a strategy to build higher-order structures, or complexes, out of multiple different types of quantum dots. This discovery fills that gap.”
The team combined its expertise in DNA and in semiconductors to invent a generalized strategy to bind certain classes of nanoparticles to one another.
“The credit for this remarkable result actually goes to DNA: its high degree of specificity – its willingness to bind only to a complementary sequence – enabled us to build rationally-engineered, designer structures out of nanomaterials,” said Sargent, a Professor in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. “The amazing thing is that our antennas built themselves – we coated different classes of nanoparticles with selected sequences of DNA, combined the different families in one beaker, and nature took its course. The result is a beautiful new set of self-assembled materials with exciting properties.”
For anyone who can get past Nature Nanotechnology’s paywall, the article is titled, “DNA-based programming of quantum dot valency, self-assembly and luminescence”, and it was released on July 10, 2011.