Photopatterning DNA Structures with Topological Defects and Arbitrary Patterns Through Multiple Length Scales


DNA is the building block for most living organisms; hence, controlling the supramolecular self-assembly of DNA structures is important not only for a better understanding of its biological properties, but also for shedding light on the design of functional materials for biological engineering and materials science applications. However, it is still challenging to control DNA molecular self-assembly structures in a predesigned manner across multiple length scales. Here, we demonstrate that the orientational order of DNA molecules can be precisely controlled by using the photopatterning technique. This technique imprints various spatially varying patterns into a layer of liquid-crystalline polymer, which will be further used to control the DNA structures. It is demonstrated that DNA orientations can be patterned with a two-dimensional lattice of topological defects and arbitrary patterns through length scales from micrometers to millimeters. The resulting programmable and predesigned DNA self-assembly structures will open up opportunities in advanced materials and devices for optical and biological applications.

Publication Title

Physical Review Applied