Utilizing the Organizational Power of DNA Scaffolds for New Nanophotonic Applications
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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Rapid development of DNA technology has provided a feasible route to creating nanoscale materials. DNA acts as a selfassembled nanoscaffold capable of assuming any threedimensional shape. The ability to integrate dyes and new optical materials such as quantum dots and plasmonic nanoparticles precisely onto these architectures provides new ways to exploit their near and farfield interactions. A fundamental understanding of these optical processes will help drive development of nextgeneration photonic nanomaterials. This review is focused on latest progress in DNAbased photonic materials and highlights DNA scaffolds for rapidly assembling and prototyping nanoscale optical devices. Three areas are discussed including intrinsically active DNA structures displaying chiral properties, DNA scaffolds hosting plasmonic nanomaterials, and fluorophorelabeled DNAs that engage in Foerster resonance energy transfer and give rise to complex molecular photonic wires. An explanation of what is desired from these optical processes when harnessed sets the tone for what DNA scaffolds are providing toward each focus. Examples from the literature illustrate current progress along with a discussion of challenges to overcome for further improvements. Opportunities to integrate diverse classes of optically active molecules including lightgenerating enzymes, fluorescent proteins, nanoclusters, and metalchelates in new structural combinations on DNA scaffolds are also highlighted.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
- Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices