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Self-Assembly of Two-Dimensional Binary Quasicrystals: A Possible Route to a DNA Quasicrystal

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Journal Article - Open Access

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University of Cambridge Cambridge United Kingdom

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We use Monte Carlo simulations and free-energy techniques to show that binary solutions of penta- and hexavalent two-dimensional patchy particles can form thermodynamically stable quasicrystals even at very narrow patch widths, provided their patch interactions are chosen in an appropriate way. Such patchy particles can be thought of as a coarse-grained representation of DNA multi-arm star motifs, which can be chosen to bond with one another very specifically by tuning the DNA sequences of the protruding arms. We explore several possible design strategies and conclude that DNA star tiles that are designed to interact with one another in a specific but not overly constrained way could potentially be used to construct soft quasicrystals in experiment. We verify that such star tiles can form stable dodecagonal motifs using oxDNA, a realistic coarse-grained model of DNA.

Subject Categories:

  • Biochemistry
  • Crystallography
  • Thermodynamics

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