Plasmonic nanostructures through DNA-assisted lithography

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Science Advances  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 2, eaap8978
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap8978

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Programmable self-assembly of nucleic acids enables the fabrication of custom, precise objects with nanoscale dimensions. These structures can be further harnessed as templates to build novel materials such as metallic nanostructures, which are widely used and explored because of their unique optical properties and their potency to serve as components of novel metamaterials. However, approaches to transfer the spatial information of DNA constructions to metal nanostructures remain a challenge. We report a DNA-assisted lithography (DALI) method that combines the structural versatility of DNA origami with conventional lithography techniques to create discrete, well-defined, and entirely metallic nanostructures with designed plasmonic properties. DALI is a parallel, high-throughput fabrication method compatible with transparent substrates, thus providing an additional advantage for optical measurements, and yields structures with a feature size of ~10 nm. We demonstrate its feasibility by producing metal nanostructures with a chiral plasmonic response and bowtie-shaped nanoantennas for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. We envisage that DALI can be generalized to large substrates, which would subsequently enable scale-up production of diverse metallic nanostructures with tailored plasmonic features.

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