Publication Date

April 2010


Francis Starr




English (United States)


Nanoparticles (NP) tethered with DNA strands can self-assemble into highly organized structures through complementary bonding of base pairs. Such materials are promising building blocks for the bottom-up nanotechnology. This thesis investigates (a) the phase diagram of NP tethered with four DNA strands, (b) lattice models that reveal the insights behind the unusual phase behavior, and (c) a theoretical description for the self-assembly. All of our studies are based on a combination of theory and simulations. We report the discovery of a hierarchy of amorphous networked phases that has never been observed in other materials. The mechanism behind the multitude of phases is studied in detail using various approaches. Lastly, we present a comprehensive theoretical framework that quantitatively describes the equilibrium clustering and dynamics, as well as the self-assembly kinetics. The theoretical predictions yield striking agreement with our molecular modeling.



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