Reversible Switching of the Interparticle Distance in DNA-Templated Gold Nanoparticle Dimers
We produce gold nanoparticle dimers with a surface-to-surface distance that varies reversibly by a factor of 3 when hybridizing or removing a single target DNA strand. The dimers are built on one DNA template that features a stem-loop enabling the interparticle distance change. Using electrophoresis, we reach 90% sample purities and demonstrate that this chemical process is reversible in solution at room temperature for a low molar excess of the target DNA strand. The kinetics of the reaction is asymmetric due to steric hindrance in the stem-loop opening process. Furthermore, a statistical analysis of cryo-electron microscopy measurements allows us to provide the first quantitative analysis of distance changes in chemically switchable nanoparticle assemblies.