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The emergence of valency in colloidal crystals through electron equivalents

The emergence of valency in colloidal crystals through electron equivalents Colloidal crystal engineering of complex, low-symmetry architectures is challenging when isotropic building blocks are assembled. Here we describe an approach to generating such structures based upon programmable atom equivalents (nanoparticles functionalized with many DNA strands) and mobile electron equivalents (small particles functionalized with a low number of DNA strands complementary to the programmable atom equivalents). Under appropriate conditions, the spatial distribution of the electron equivalents breaks the symmetry of isotropic programmable atom equivalents, akin to the anisotropic distribution of valence electrons or coordination sites around a metal atom, leading to a set of well-defined coordination geometries and access to three new low-symmetry crystalline phases. All three phases represent the first examples of colloidal crystals, with two of them having elemental analogues (body-centred tetragonal and high-pressure gallium), while the third (triple double-gyroid structure) has no known natural equivalent. This approach enables the creation of complex, low-symmetry colloidal crystals that might find use in various technologies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Materials Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022
ISSN
1476-1122
eISSN
1476-4660
DOI
10.1038/s41563-021-01170-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Colloidal crystal engineering of complex, low-symmetry architectures is challenging when isotropic building blocks are assembled. Here we describe an approach to generating such structures based upon programmable atom equivalents (nanoparticles functionalized with many DNA strands) and mobile electron equivalents (small particles functionalized with a low number of DNA strands complementary to the programmable atom equivalents). Under appropriate conditions, the spatial distribution of the electron equivalents breaks the symmetry of isotropic programmable atom equivalents, akin to the anisotropic distribution of valence electrons or coordination sites around a metal atom, leading to a set of well-defined coordination geometries and access to three new low-symmetry crystalline phases. All three phases represent the first examples of colloidal crystals, with two of them having elemental analogues (body-centred tetragonal and high-pressure gallium), while the third (triple double-gyroid structure) has no known natural equivalent. This approach enables the creation of complex, low-symmetry colloidal crystals that might find use in various technologies.

Journal

Nature MaterialsSpringer Journals

Published: May 1, 2022

References