Cooperative colloidal self-assembly of metal-protein superlattice wires

Ville Liljeström, Ari Ora, Jukka Hassinen, Heikki T. Rekola, N. Nonappa, Maria Heilala, Ville Hynninen, Jussi J. Joensuu, Robin H.A. Ras, Päivi Törmä, Olli Ikkala, Mauri A. Kostiainen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    Material properties depend critically on the packing and order of constituent units throughout length scales. Beyond classically explored molecular self-assembly, structure formation in the nanoparticle and colloidal length scales have recently been actively explored for new functions. Structure of colloidal assemblies depends strongly on the assembly process, and higher structural control can be reliably achieved only if the process is deterministic. Here we show that self-assembly of cationic spherical metal nanoparticles and anionic rod-like viruses yields well-defined binary superlattice wires. The superlattice structures are explained by a cooperative assembly pathway that proceeds in a zipper-like manner after nucleation. Curiously, the formed superstructure shows right-handed helical twisting due to the right-handed structure of the virus. This leads to structure-dependent chiral plasmonic function of the material. The work highlights the importance of well-defined colloidal units when pursuing unforeseen and complex assemblies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number671
    JournalNature Communications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    Financial support from the Academy of Finland (Grants 263504, 267497, 273645, 284621), the European Research Council (Grant No. ERC-2013-AdG-340748-CODE), Biocentrum Helsinki, and Emil Aaltonen Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland are gratefully acknowledged. This work was carried out under the Academy of Finland’s Centers of Excellence Programme and made use of the Aalto University Nanomicroscopy Centre (Aalto NMC).


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