The compression properties of DNA-nanoparticle assemblies were studied by measuring their response to the applied osmotic pressure. The lattices of nanoparticles interconnected with DNA exhibit an isotropic transformation under compression with a remarkably strong decrease of the lattice constant, up to a factor of about 1.8, corresponding to more than 80% of the volume reduction. Using insitu small angle X-ray scattering and optical microscopy, we probe the DNA-induced effective interparticle interactions by measuring the macroscopic and nanoscale compression behaviours as a function of the applied osmotic stress. The force field extracted from experimental data can be well described by a theoretical model that takes into account confinement of DNA chains in the interstitial regions. We show that compression properties of these systems can be tuned via DNA molecular design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics