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Sample records for artificial light-harvesting self-assemble

  1. Combining light-harvesting and charge separation in a self-assembled artificial photosynthetic system based on perylenediimide chromophores.

    PubMed

    Rybtchinski, Boris; Sinks, Louise E; Wasielewski, Michael R

    2004-10-01

    Self-assembly of robust perylenediimide chromophores is used to produce an artificial light-harvesting antenna structure that in turn induces self-assembly of a functional special pair that undergoes ultrafast, quantitative charge separation. The structure consists of four 1,7-(3',5'-di-tert-butylphenoxy)perylene-3,4:9,10-perylene-3,4:9,10-bis(carboximide) (PDI) molecules attached to a single 1,7-bis(pyrrolidin-1-yl)perylene-3,4:9,10-perylene-3,4:9,10-bis(carboximide) (5PDI) core, which self-assembles to form (5PDI-PDI4)2 in toluene. The system is characterized using both structural methods (NMR, SAXS, mass spectroscopy, and GPC) and photophysical methods (UV-vis, time-resolved fluorescence, and femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy). Energy transfer from (PDI)2 to (5PDI)2 occurs with tau = 21 ps, followed by excited-state symmetry breaking of 1*(5PDI)2 to produce 5PDI*+-5PDI*- quantitatively with tau = 7 ps. The ion pair recombines with tau = 420 ps. Electron transfer occurs only in the dimeric system and does not occur in the disassembled monomer, thus mimicking both antenna and special pair function in photosynthesis. PMID:15453751

  2. Zinc chlorins for artificial light-harvesting self-assemble into antiparallel stacks forming a microcrystalline solid-state material

    PubMed Central

    Ganapathy, Swapna; Sengupta, Sanchita; Wawrzyniak, Piotr K.; Huber, Valerie; Buda, Francesco; Baumeister, Ute; Wrthner, Frank; de Groot, Huub J. M.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce a concept to solve the structure of a microcrystalline material in the solid-state at natural abundance without access to distance constraints, using magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR spectroscopy in conjunction with X-ray powder diffraction and DFT calculations. The method is applied to a novel class of materials that form (semi)conductive 1D wires for supramolecular electronics and artificial light-harvesting. The zinc chlorins 3-devinyl-31-hydroxymethyl-132-demethoxycarbonylpheophorbide a (3?,5?-bis-dodecyloxy)benzyl ester zinc complex 1 and 3-devinyl-31-methoxymethyl-132-demethoxycarbonylpheophorbide a (3?,5?-bis-dodecyloxy)benzyl ester zinc complex 2, self-assemble into extended excitonically coupled chromophore stacks. 1H-13C heteronuclear dipolar correlation MAS NMR experiments provided the 1H resonance assignment of the chlorin rings that allowed accurate probing of ring currents related to the stacking of macrocycles. DFT ring-current shift calculations revealed that both chlorins self-assemble in antiparallel ?-stacks in planar layers in the solid-state. Concomitantly, X-ray powder diffraction measurements for chlorin 2 at 80 C revealed a 3D lattice for the mesoscale packing that matches molecular mechanics optimized aggregate models. For chlorin 2 the stacks alternate with a periodicity of 0.68 nm and a 3D unit cell with an approximate volume of 6.28 nm3 containing 4 molecules, which is consistent with space group P21221. PMID:19587237

  3. Quantum-dot-induced self-assembly of cricoid protein for light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Miao, Lu; Han, Jishu; Zhang, Hao; Zhao, Linlu; Si, Chengye; Zhang, Xiyu; Hou, Chunxi; Luo, Quan; Xu, Jiayun; Liu, Junqiu

    2014-04-22

    Stable protein one (SP1) has been demonstrated as an appealing building block to design highly ordered architectures, despite the hybrid assembly with other nano-objects still being a challenge. Herein, we developed a strategy to construct high-ordered protein nanostructures by electrostatic self-assembly of cricoid protein nanorings and globular quantum dots (QDs). Using multielectrostatic interactions between 12mer protein nanoring SP1 and oppositely charged CdTe QDs, highly ordered nanowires with sandwich structure were achieved by hybridized self-assembly. QDs with different sizes (QD1, 3-4 nm; QD2, 5-6 nm; QD3, ?10 nm) would induce the self-assembly protein rings into various nanowires, subsequent bundles, and irregular networks in aqueous solution. Atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering characterizations confirmed that the size of QDs and the structural topology of the nanoring play critical functions in the formation of the superstructures. Furthermore, an ordered arrangement of QDs provides an ideal scaffold for designing the light-harvesting antenna. Most importantly, when different sized QDs (e.g., QD1 and QD3) self-assembled with SP1, an extremely efficient Frster resonance energy transfer was observed on these protein nanowires. The self-assembled protein nanostructures were demonstrated as a promising scaffold for the development of an artificial light-harvesting system. PMID:24601558

  4. One-Dimensional Multichromophor Arrays Based on DNA: From Self-Assembly to Light-Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Ensslen, Philipp; Wagenknecht, Hans-Achim

    2015-10-20

    Light-harvesting complexes collect light energy and deliver it by a cascade of energy and electron transfer processes to the reaction center where charge separation leads to storage as chemical energy. The design of artificial light-harvesting assemblies faces enormous challenges because several antenna chromophores need to be kept in close proximity but self-quenching needs to be avoided. Double stranded DNA as a supramolecular scaffold plays a promising role due to its characteristic structural properties. Automated DNA synthesis allows incorporation of artificial chromophore-modified building blocks, and sequence design allows precise control of the distances and orientations between the chromophores. The helical twist between the chromophores, which is induced by the DNA framework, controls energy and electron transfer and thereby reduces the self-quenching that is typically observed in chromophore aggregates. This Account summarizes covalently multichromophore-modified DNA and describes how such multichromophore arrays were achieved by Watson-Crick-specific and DNA-templated self-assembly. The covalent DNA systems were prepared by incorporation of chromophores as DNA base substitutions (either as C-nucleosides or with acyclic linkers as substitutes for the 2'-deoxyribofuranoside) and as DNA base modifications. Studies with DNA base substitutions revealed that distances but more importantly relative orientations of the chromophores govern the energy transfer efficiencies and thereby the light-harvesting properties. With DNA base substitutions, duplex stabilization was faced and could be overcome, for instance, by zipper-like placement of the chromophores in both strands. For both principal structural approaches, DNA-based light-harvesting antenna could be realized. The major disadvantages, however, for covalent multichromophore DNA conjugates are the poor yields of synthesis and the solubility issues for oligonucleotides with more than 5-10 chromophore modifications in a row. A logical alternative approach is to leave out the phosphodiester bridges between the chromophores and let chromophore-nucleoside conjugates self-assemble specifically along single stranded DNA as template. The self-organization of chromophores along the DNA template based on canonical base pairing would be advantageous because sequence selective base pairing could provide a structural basis for programmed complexity within the chromophore assembly. The self-assembly is governed by two interactions. The chromophore-nucleoside conjugates as guest molecules are recognized via hydrogen bonds to the corresponding counter bases in the single stranded DNA template. Moreover, the ?-? interactions between the stacked chromophores stabilize these self-assembled constructs with increasing length. Longer DNA templates are more attractive for self-assembled antenna. The helicity in the stack of porphyrins as guest molecules assembled on the DNA template can be switched by environmental changes, such as pH variations. DNA-templated stacks of ethynyl pyrene and nile red exhibit left-handed chirality, which stands in contrast to similar covalent multichromophore-DNA conjugates with enforced right-handed helicity. With ethynyl nile red, it is possible to occupy every available binding site on the templates. Mixed assemblies of ethynyl pyrene and nile red show energy transfer and thereby provide a proof-of-principle that simple light-harvesting antennae can be obtained in a noncovalent and self-assembled fashion. With respect to the next important step, chemical storage of the absorbed light energy, future research has to focus on the coupling of sophisticated DNA-based light-harvesting antenna to reaction centers. PMID:26411920

  5. Peptide-Modulated Self-Assembly of Chromophores toward Biomimetic Light-Harvesting Nanoarchitectonics.

    PubMed

    Zou, Qianli; Liu, Kai; Abbas, Manzar; Yan, Xuehai

    2016-02-01

    Elegant self-assembling complexes by the combination of proteins/peptides with functional chromophores are decisively responsible for highly efficient light-harvesting and energy transfer in natural photosynthetic systems. Mimicking natural light-harvesting complexes through synthetic peptides is attractive due to their advantanges of programmable primary structure, tunable self-assembly architecture and easy availability in comparison to naturally occuring proteins. Here, an overview of recent progresses in the area of biomimetic light-harvesting nanoarchitectonics based on peptide-modulated self-assembly of chromophores is provided. Adjusting the organization of chromophores, either by creating peptide-chromophore conjugates or by the non-covalent assembly of peptides and chromophores are highlighted. The light-harvesting properties, especially the energy transfer of the biomimetic complexes are critically discussed. The applications of such complexes in the mineralization of inorganic nanoparticles, generation of molecular hydrogen and oxygen, and photosynthesis of bioactive molecules are also included. PMID:26273821

  6. Self-assembled photosynthesis-inspired light harvesting material and solar cells containing the same

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Chinnasamy, Muthiah; Fan, Dazhong

    2009-12-15

    A solar cell is described that comprises: (a) a semiconductor charge separation material; (b) at least one electrode connected to the charge separation material; and (c) a light-harvesting film on the charge separation material, the light-harvesting film comprising non-covalently coupled, self-assembled units of porphyrinic macrocycles. The porphyrinic macrocycles preferably comprise: (i) an intramolecularly coordinated metal; (ii) a first coordinating substituent; and (iii) a second coordinating substituent opposite the first coordinating substituent. The porphyrinic macrocycles can be assembled by repeating intermolecular coordination complexes of the metal, the first coordinating substituent and the second coordinating substituent.

  7. DNA-directed artificial light-harvesting antenna.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Palash K; Varghese, Reji; Nangreave, Jeanette; Lin, Su; Yan, Hao; Liu, Yan

    2011-08-10

    Designing and constructing multichromophoric, artificial light-harvesting antennas with controlled interchromophore distances, orientations, and defined donor-acceptor ratios to facilitate efficient unidirectional energy transfer is extremely challenging. Here, we demonstrate the assembly of a series of structurally well-defined artificial light-harvesting triads based on the principles of structural DNA nanotechnology. DNA nanotechnology offers addressable scaffolds for the organization of various functional molecules with nanometer scale spatial resolution. The triads are organized by a self-assembled seven-helix DNA bundle (7HB) into cyclic arrays of three distinct chromophores, reminiscent of natural photosynthetic systems. The scaffold accommodates a primary donor array (Py), secondary donor array (Cy3) and an acceptor (AF) with defined interchromophore distances. Steady-state fluorescence analyses of the triads revealed an efficient, stepwise funneling of the excitation energy from the primary donor array to the acceptor core through the intermediate donor. The efficiency of excitation energy transfer and the light-harvesting ability (antenna effect) of the triads was greatly affected by the relative ratio of the primary to the intermediate donors, as well as on the interchromophore distance. Time-resolved fluorescence analyses by time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) and streak camera techniques further confirmed the cascading energy transfer processes on the picosecond time scale. Our results clearly show that DNA nanoscaffolds are promising templates for the design of artificial photonic antennas with structural characteristics that are ideal for the efficient harvesting and transport of energy. PMID:21714548

  8. Micelle-Induced Self-Assembling Protein Nanowires: Versatile Supramolecular Scaffolds for Designing the Light-Harvesting System.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hongcheng; Zhang, Xiyu; Miao, Lu; Zhao, Linlu; Luo, Quan; Xu, Jiayun; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-01-26

    Organic nanoparticle induced self-assembly of proteins with periodic nanostructures is a promising and burgeoning strategy to develop functional biomimetic nanomaterials. Cricoid proteins afford monodispersed and well-defined hollow centers, and can be used to multivalently interact with geometrically symmetric nanoparticles to form one-dimensional protein nanoarrays. Herein, we report that core-cross-linked micelles can direct cricoid stable protein one (SP1) to self-assembling nanowires through multiple electrostatic interactions. One micelle can act as an organic nanoparticle to interact with two central concaves of SP1 in an opposite orientation to form a sandwich structure, further controlling the assembly direction to supramolecular protein nanowires. The reported versatile supramolecular scaffolds can be optionally manipulated to develop multifunctional integrated or synergistic biomimetic nanomaterials. Artificial light-harvesting nanowires are further developed to mimic the energy transfer process of photosynthetic bacteria for their structural similarity, by means of labeling donor and acceptor chromophores to SP1 rings and spherical micelles, respectively. The absorbing energy can be transferred within the adjacent donors around the ring and shuttling the collected energy to the nearby acceptor chromophore. The artificial light-harvesting nanowires are designed by mimicking the structural characteristic of natural LH-2 complex, which are meaningful in exploring the photosynthesis process in vitro. PMID:26634314

  9. Multichromophoric organic molecules encapsulated in polymer nanoparticles for artificial light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Santanu; Jana, Bikash; Patra, Amitava

    2015-03-16

    We designed a self-assembled multichromophoric organic molecular arrangement inside polymer nanoparticles for light-harvesting antenna materials. The self-assembled molecular arrangement of quaterthiophene molecules was found to be an efficient light-absorbing antenna material, followed by energy transfer to Nile red (NR) dye molecules, which was confined in polymer nanoparticles. The efficiency of the antenna effect was found to be 3.2 and the effective molar extinction coefficient of acceptor dye molecules was found to be enhanced, which indicates an efficient light-harvesting system. Based on this energy-transfer process, tunable photo emission and white light emission has been generated with 14?% quantum yield. Such self-assembled oligothiophene-NR systems encapsulated in polymer nanoparticles may open up new possibilities for fabrication of artificial light harvesting system. PMID:25600650

  10. A nanoscale bio-inspired light-harvesting system developed from self-assembled alkyl-functionalized metallochlorin nano-aggregates.

    PubMed

    Ocakoglu, Kasim; Joya, Khurram S; Harputlu, Ersan; Tarnowska, Anna; Gryko, Daniel T

    2014-08-21

    Self-assembled supramolecular organization of nano-structured biomimetic light-harvesting modules inside solid-state nano-templates can be exploited to develop excellent light-harvesting materials for artificial photosynthetic devices. We present here a hybrid light-harvesting system mimicking the chlorosomal structures of the natural photosynthetic system using synthetic zinc chlorin units (ZnChl-C6, ZnChl-C12 and ZnChl-C18) that are self-aggregated inside the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nano-channel membranes. AAO nano-templates were modified with a TiO2 matrix and functionalized with long hydrophobic chains to facilitate the formation of supramolecular Zn-chlorin aggregates. The transparent Zn-chlorin nano-aggregates inside the alkyl-TiO2 modified AAO nano-channels have a diameter of ?120 nm in a 60 ?m length channel. UV-Vis studies and fluorescence emission spectra further confirm the formation of the supramolecular ZnChl aggregates from monomer molecules inside the alkyl-functionalized nano-channels. Our results prove that the novel and unique method can be used to produce efficient and stable light-harvesting assemblies for effective solar energy capture through transparent and stable nano-channel ceramic materials modified with bio-mimetic molecular self-assembled nano-aggregates. PMID:24909123

  11. Highly Efficient Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Light-Harvesting Molecular Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogawa, Taku; Yanai, Nobuhiro; Monguzzi, Angelo; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2015-06-01

    To meet the worlds demands on the development of sunlight-powered renewable energy production, triplet-triplet annihilation-based photon upconversion (TTA-UC) has raised great expectations. However, an ideal highly efficient, low-power, and in-air TTA-UC has not been achieved. Here, we report a novel self-assembly approach to achieve this, which enabled highly efficient TTA-UC even in the presence of oxygen. A newly developed lipophilic 9,10-diphenylanthracene-based emitter molecule functionalized with multiple hydrogen-bonding moieties spontaneously coassembled with a triplet sensitizer in organic media, showing efficient triplet sensitization and subsequent triplet energy migration among the preorganized chromophores. This supramolecular light-harvesting system shows a high UC quantum yield of 30% optimized at low excitation power in deaerated conditions. Significantly, the UC emission largely remains even in an air-saturated solution, and this approach is facilely applicable to organogel and solid-film systems.

  12. Highly Efficient Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Light-Harvesting Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Taku; Yanai, Nobuhiro; Monguzzi, Angelo; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2015-01-01

    To meet the world's demands on the development of sunlight-powered renewable energy production, triplet-triplet annihilation-based photon upconversion (TTA-UC) has raised great expectations. However, an ideal highly efficient, low-power, and in-air TTA-UC has not been achieved. Here, we report a novel self-assembly approach to achieve this, which enabled highly efficient TTA-UC even in the presence of oxygen. A newly developed lipophilic 9,10-diphenylanthracene-based emitter molecule functionalized with multiple hydrogen-bonding moieties spontaneously coassembled with a triplet sensitizer in organic media, showing efficient triplet sensitization and subsequent triplet energy migration among the preorganized chromophores. This supramolecular light-harvesting system shows a high UC quantum yield of 30% optimized at low excitation power in deaerated conditions. Significantly, the UC emission largely remains even in an air-saturated solution, and this approach is facilely applicable to organogel and solid-film systems. PMID:26057321

  13. Highly Efficient Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Light-Harvesting Molecular Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Taku; Yanai, Nobuhiro; Monguzzi, Angelo; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2015-01-01

    To meet the world’s demands on the development of sunlight-powered renewable energy production, triplet–triplet annihilation-based photon upconversion (TTA–UC) has raised great expectations. However, an ideal highly efficient, low-power, and in-air TTA–UC has not been achieved. Here, we report a novel self-assembly approach to achieve this, which enabled highly efficient TTA–UC even in the presence of oxygen. A newly developed lipophilic 9,10-diphenylanthracene-based emitter molecule functionalized with multiple hydrogen-bonding moieties spontaneously coassembled with a triplet sensitizer in organic media, showing efficient triplet sensitization and subsequent triplet energy migration among the preorganized chromophores. This supramolecular light-harvesting system shows a high UC quantum yield of 30% optimized at low excitation power in deaerated conditions. Significantly, the UC emission largely remains even in an air-saturated solution, and this approach is facilely applicable to organogel and solid-film systems. PMID:26057321

  14. Photocurrent generation in a light-harvesting system with multifunctional artificial nanochannels.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qianqian; Liu, Zhaoyue; Zhai, Jin

    2015-08-01

    We develop an artificial light-harvesting system for photocurrent generation. Platinized TiO2 nanochannels are used as ultraviolet-light-harvesting antennae, which generate a transmembrane electrochemical gradient by asymmetric work function driven photochemical reactions. As a result, a potential difference is formed across the nanochannels, producing a photocurrent flowing through the external circuit. PMID:26139227

  15. Electron transfer reaction of light harvesting zinc naphthalocyanine-subphthalocyanine self-assembled dyad: spectroscopic, electrochemical, computational, and photochemical studies.

    PubMed

    El-Khouly, Mohamed E

    2010-10-21

    Electron transfer reaction of a self-assembled donor-acceptor dyad formed by axial coordination of zinc naphthalocyanine, ZnNc, and subphthalocyanine appended with pyridine coordinating ligand, SubPc(py), was investigated in the present study. The SubPc(Py)?:?ZnNc self-assembled dyad absorbs the light in a wide section of the UV/Vis/NIR spectra. The formation constant of SubPc(py)?:?ZnNc in o-dichlorobenzene was found to be 1.2 10(5) M(-1) from the steady-state absorption and emission measurements, suggesting stable complex formation. The geometric and electronic calculations by using ab initio B3LYP/6-311G methods showed the majority of the highest occupied frontier molecular orbital (HOMO) on the zinc naphthalocyanine entity, while the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) was on the subphthalocyanine entity, suggesting that the charge-separated state of the supramolecular complex is (SubPc(py))?(-)?:?ZnNc?(+). The electrochemical results suggest the exothermic charge-separation process via the singlet states of both SubPc(py) and ZnNc entities. Upon coordination the pyridine appended subphthalocyanine to ZnNc; the main quenching pathway involved charge separation via the singlet excited states of ZnNc and SubPc(py). A clear evidence of the intramolecular electron transfer from the singlet state of ZnNc to SubPc(py) was monitored by femtosecond laser photolysis in o-dichlorobenzene by observing the characteristic absorption band of the ZnNc radical cation in the NIR region at 960 nm. The rate of charge-separation process was found to be 1.3 10(10) s(-1), indicating fast and efficient charge separation. The rate of charge recombination and the lifetime of the charge-separated state were found to be 1.0 10(9) s(-1) and 1 ns, respectively. The absorption in a wide section of the solar spectrum and high charge-separation/charge-recombination ratio suggests the usefulness of self-assembled SubPc(Py)?:?ZnNc for being a photosynthetic model. PMID:20820580

  16. Hybrid artificial photosynthetic systems comprising semiconductors as light harvesters and biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Wen, Fuyu; Li, Can

    2013-11-19

    Solar fuel production through artificial photosynthesis may be a key to generating abundant and clean energy, thus addressing the high energy needs of the world's expanding population. As the crucial components of photosynthesis, the artificial photosynthetic system should be composed of a light harvester (e.g., semiconductor or molecular dye), a reduction cocatalyst (e.g., hydrogenase mimic, noble metal), and an oxidation cocatalyst (e.g., photosystem II mimic for oxygen evolution from water oxidation). Solar fuel production catalyzed by an artificial photosynthetic system starts from the absorption of sunlight by the light harvester, where charge separation takes place, followed by a charge transfer to the reduction and oxidation cocatalysts, where redox reaction processes occur. One of the most challenging problems is to develop an artificial photosynthetic solar fuel production system that is both highly efficient and stable. The assembly of cocatalysts on the semiconductor (light harvester) not only can facilitate the charge separation, but also can lower the activation energy or overpotential for the reactions. An efficient light harvester loaded with suitable reduction and oxidation cocatalysts is the key for high efficiency of artificial photosynthetic systems. In this Account, we describe our strategy of hybrid photocatalysts using semiconductors as light harvesters with biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts to construct efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems. We chose semiconductor nanoparticles as light harvesters because of their broad spectral absorption and relatively robust properties compared with a natural photosynthesis system. Using biomimetic complexes as cocatalysts can significantly facilitate charge separation via fast charge transfer from the semiconductor to the molecular cocatalysts and also catalyze the chemical reactions of solar fuel production. The hybrid photocatalysts supply us with a platform to study the photocatalytic mechanisms of H2/O2 evolution and CO2 reduction at the molecular level and to bridge natural and artificial photosynthesis. We demonstrate the feasibility of the hybrid photocatalyst, biomimetic molecular cocatalysts, and semiconductor light harvester for artificial photosynthesis and therefore provide a promising approach for rational design and construction of highly efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems. PMID:23730891

  17. Artificial Photosynthesis at Dynamic Self-Assembled Interfaces in Water.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Malte; Troppmann, Stefan; Knig, Burkhard

    2016-01-01

    Artificial photosynthesis is one of the big scientific challenges of today. Self-assembled dynamic interfaces, such as vesicles or micelles, have been used as microreactors to mimic biological photosynthesis. These aggregates can help to overcome typical problems of homogeneous photocatalytic water splitting. Microheterogeneous environments organize catalyst-photosensitizer assemblies at the interface in close proximity and thus enhance intermolecular interactions. Thereby vesicles and micelles may promote photoinitiated charge separation and suppress back electron transfer. The dynamic self-assembled interfaces solubilize non-polar compounds and protect sensitive catalytic units and intermediates against degradation. In addition, vesicles provide compartmentation that was used to separate different redox environments needed for an overall water splitting system. This Minireview provides an overview of the applications of micellar and vesicular microheterogeneous systems for solar energy conversion by photosensitized water oxidation and hydrogen generation. PMID:26552728

  18. Vibronic origin of long-lived coherence in an artificial molecular light harvester

    PubMed Central

    Lim, James; Paleček, David; Caycedo-Soler, Felipe; Lincoln, Craig N.; Prior, Javier; von Berlepsch, Hans; Huelga, Susana F.; Plenio, Martin B.; Zigmantas, Donatas; Hauer, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Natural and artificial light-harvesting processes have recently gained new interest. Signatures of long-lasting coherence in spectroscopic signals of biological systems have been repeatedly observed, albeit their origin is a matter of ongoing debate, as it is unclear how the loss of coherence due to interaction with the noisy environments in such systems is averted. Here we report experimental and theoretical verification of coherent exciton–vibrational (vibronic) coupling as the origin of long-lasting coherence in an artificial light harvester, a molecular J-aggregate. In this macroscopically aligned tubular system, polarization-controlled 2D spectroscopy delivers an uncongested and specific optical response as an ideal foundation for an in-depth theoretical description. We derive analytical expressions that show under which general conditions vibronic coupling leads to prolonged excited-state coherence. PMID:26158602

  19. Reversible hydrogels from self-assembling artificial proteins.

    PubMed

    Petka, W A; Harden, J L; McGrath, K P; Wirtz, D; Tirrell, D A

    1998-07-17

    Recombinant DNA methods were used to create artificial proteins that undergo reversible gelation in response to changes in pH or temperature. The proteins consist of terminal leucine zipper domains flanking a central, flexible, water-soluble polyelectrolyte segment. Formation of coiled-coil aggregates of the terminal domains in near-neutral aqueous solutions triggers formation of a three-dimensional polymer network, with the polyelectrolyte segment retaining solvent and preventing precipitation of the chain. Dissociation of the coiled-coil aggregates through elevation of pH or temperature causes dissolution of the gel and a return to the viscous behavior that is characteristic of polymer solutions. The mild conditions under which gel formation can be controlled (near-neutral pH and near-ambient temperature) suggest that these materials have potential in bioengineering applications requiring encapsulation or controlled release of molecular and cellular species. PMID:9665877

  20. Ultrahigh-density storage media prepared by artificially assisted self-assembling methods.

    PubMed

    Naito, Katsuyuki

    2005-12-01

    Two types of recording media possessing nanodot structures were investigated. The media were prepared by an artificially assisted self-assembling (AASA) method, which includes simple nanopatterning using a nanoimprint and fine nanopatterning using self-assembling organic molecules. One type of recording media is circumferential magnetic patterned media prepared on a 2.5-in.-diam glass plate. A Ni master disk possessing spiral patterns with 60-250 nm width lands and a 400 nm width groove was pressed to a resist film on a CoCrPt film to transfer the spiral patterns. A diblock copolymer solution was cast into the obtained grooves, and then annealed to prepare self-assembling dot structures aligned along the grooves. According to the dot patterns, the lower magnetic films were patterned by ion milling to yield patterned media with 40 nm diameter. We have also prepared FePt dot media with high magnetic anisotropy for near-field and magnetic-field hybrid recording aiming at more than 1 Tbin.2 density. A Ni stamp disk with aligned dot structures was also prepared by the AASA method to produce patterned media at the lowest cost. The other type of media was organic patterned media for X-Y type near-field optical storage. Bulky dye molecules were evaporated in vacuum to produce self-assembling amorphous nanodots. The dots were arranged by the AASA method, i.e., according to the polymethylmethacrylate film hole arrays or chemically patterned surface. PMID:16396600

  1. Ultrahigh-density storage media prepared by artificially assisted self-assembling methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naito, Katsuyuki

    2005-12-01

    Two types of recording media possessing nanodot structures were investigated. The media were prepared by an artificially assisted self-assembling (AASA) method, which includes simple nanopatterning using a nanoimprint and fine nanopatterning using self-assembling organic molecules. One type of recording media is circumferential magnetic patterned media prepared on a 2.5-in.-diam glass plate. A Ni master disk possessing spiral patterns with 60-250 nm width lands and a 400 nm width groove was pressed to a resist film on a CoCrPt film to transfer the spiral patterns. A diblock copolymer solution was cast into the obtained grooves, and then annealed to prepare self-assembling dot structures aligned along the grooves. According to the dot patterns, the lower magnetic films were patterned by ion milling to yield patterned media with 40 nm diameter. We have also prepared FePt dot media with high magnetic anisotropy for near-field and magnetic-field hybrid recording aiming at more than 1Tb/in.2 density. A Ni stamp disk with aligned dot structures was also prepared by the AASA method to produce patterned media at the lowest cost. The other type of media was organic patterned media for X-Y type near-field optical storage. Bulky dye molecules were evaporated in vacuum to produce self-assembling amorphous nanodots. The dots were arranged by the AASA method, i.e., according to the polymethylmethacrylate film hole arrays or chemically patterned surface.

  2. In vitro maturation of oocytes via the pre-fabricated self-assembled artificial human ovary

    PubMed Central

    Robins, Jared C.; Ferruccio, Toni-Marie; Moore, Richard; Steinhoff, Margaret M.; Morgan, Jeffrey R.; Carson, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Purpose Create a 3-Dimensional artificial human ovary to mature human oocytes. Methods Theca and granulosa cells were isolated from antral follicles of reproductive-aged women, seeded into micro-molded gels and self-assembled into complex 3D microtissues. Immunohistochemistry and live-dead staining confirmed theca cell identity and cellular viability at one week respectively. Placement of granulosa cell spheroids or cumulus-oocyte complexes into theca cell honeycomb openings resulted in creation of an artificial human ovary. Oocytes from this construct were assessed for polar body extrusion. Results Theca and granulosa cells self-assembled into complex microtissues, remaining viable for one week. At 72h after artificial human ovary construction, theca cells completely surrounded the granulosa spheroids or COCs without stromal invasion or disruption. Polar body extrusion occurred in one of three COCs assessed. Conclusions An artifical human ovary can be created with self-assembled human theca and granulosa cell microtissues, and used for IVM and future oocyte toxicology studies. PMID:20737203

  3. Design and self-assembly of simple coat proteins for artificial viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez-Garcia, Armando; Kraft, Daniela J.; Janssen, Anne F. J.; Bomans, Paul H. H.; Sommerdijk, Nico A. J. M.; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M. E.; Favretto, Marco E.; Brock, Roland; de Wolf, Frits A.; Werten, Marc W. T.; van der Schoot, Paul; Stuart, Martien Cohen; de Vries, Renko

    2014-09-01

    Viruses are among the simplest biological systems and are highly effective vehicles for the delivery of genetic material into susceptible host cells. Artificial viruses can be used as model systems for providing insights into natural viruses and can be considered a testing ground for developing artificial life. Moreover, they are used in biomedical and biotechnological applications, such as targeted delivery of nucleic acids for gene therapy and as scaffolds in material science. In a natural setting, survival of viruses requires that a significant fraction of the replicated genomes be completely protected by coat proteins. Complete protection of the genome is ensured by a highly cooperative supramolecular process between the coat proteins and the nucleic acids, which is based on reversible, weak and allosteric interactions only. However, incorporating this type of supramolecular cooperativity into artificial viruses remains challenging. Here, we report a rational design for a self-assembling minimal viral coat protein based on simple polypeptide domains. Our coat protein features precise control over the cooperativity of its self-assembly with single DNA molecules to finally form rod-shaped virus-like particles. We confirm the validity of our design principles by showing that the kinetics of self-assembly of our virus-like particles follows a previous model developed for tobacco mosaic virus. We show that our virus-like particles protect DNA against enzymatic degradation and transfect cells with considerable efficiency, making them promising delivery vehicles.

  4. Quantum coherence controls the charge separation in a prototypical artificial light-harvesting system

    PubMed Central

    Andrea Rozzi, Carlo; Maria Falke, Sarah; Spallanzani, Nicola; Rubio, Angel; Molinari, Elisa; Brida, Daniele; Maiuri, Margherita; Cerullo, Giulio; Schramm, Heiko; Christoffers, Jens; Lienau, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    The efficient conversion of light into electricity or chemical fuels is a fundamental challenge. In artificial photosynthetic and photovoltaic devices, this conversion is generally thought to happen on ultrafast, femto-to-picosecond timescales and to involve an incoherent electron transfer process. In some biological systems, however, there is growing evidence that the coherent motion of electronic wavepackets is an essential primary step, raising questions about the role of quantum coherence in artificial devices. Here we investigate the primary charge-transfer process in a supramolecular triad, a prototypical artificial reaction centre. Combining high time-resolution femtosecond spectroscopy and time-dependent density functional theory, we provide compelling evidence that the driving mechanism of the photoinduced current generation cycle is a correlated wavelike motion of electrons and nuclei on a timescale of few tens of femtoseconds. We highlight the fundamental role of the interface between chromophore and charge acceptor in triggering the coherent wavelike electron-hole splitting. PMID:23511467

  5. Vibronic coupling explains the ultrafast carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in natural and artificial light harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlk, Vclav; Seibt, Joachim; Cranston, Laura J.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Lincoln, Craig N.; Savolainen, Janne; anda, Frantiek; Man?al, Tom; Hauer, Jrgen

    2015-06-01

    The initial energy transfer steps in photosynthesis occur on ultrafast timescales. We analyze the carotenoid to bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in LH2 Marichromatium purpuratum as well as in an artificial light-harvesting dyad system by using transient grating and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with 10 fs time resolution. We find that Frster-type models reproduce the experimentally observed 60 fs transfer times, but overestimate coupling constants, which lead to a disagreement with both linear absorption and electronic 2D-spectra. We show that a vibronic model, which treats carotenoid vibrations on both electronic ground and excited states as part of the system's Hamiltonian, reproduces all measured quantities. Importantly, the vibronic model presented here can explain the fast energy transfer rates with only moderate coupling constants, which are in agreement with structure based calculations. Counterintuitively, the vibrational levels on the carotenoid electronic ground state play the central role in the excited state population transfer to bacteriochlorophyll; resonance between the donor-acceptor energy gap and the vibrational ground state energies is the physical basis of the ultrafast energy transfer rates in these systems.

  6. Vibronic coupling explains the ultrafast carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in natural and artificial light harvesters

    SciTech Connect

    Perlík, Václav; Seibt, Joachim; Šanda, František; Mančal, Tomáš; Cranston, Laura J.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Lincoln, Craig N.; Hauer, Jürgen; Savolainen, Janne

    2015-06-07

    The initial energy transfer steps in photosynthesis occur on ultrafast timescales. We analyze the carotenoid to bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in LH2 Marichromatium purpuratum as well as in an artificial light-harvesting dyad system by using transient grating and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with 10 fs time resolution. We find that Förster-type models reproduce the experimentally observed 60 fs transfer times, but overestimate coupling constants, which lead to a disagreement with both linear absorption and electronic 2D-spectra. We show that a vibronic model, which treats carotenoid vibrations on both electronic ground and excited states as part of the system’s Hamiltonian, reproduces all measured quantities. Importantly, the vibronic model presented here can explain the fast energy transfer rates with only moderate coupling constants, which are in agreement with structure based calculations. Counterintuitively, the vibrational levels on the carotenoid electronic ground state play the central role in the excited state population transfer to bacteriochlorophyll; resonance between the donor-acceptor energy gap and the vibrational ground state energies is the physical basis of the ultrafast energy transfer rates in these systems.

  7. Highly permeable artificial water channels that can self-assemble into two-dimensional arrays.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yue-Xiao; Si, Wen; Erbakan, Mustafa; Decker, Karl; De Zorzi, Rita; Saboe, Patrick O; Kang, You Jung; Majd, Sheereen; Butler, Peter J; Walz, Thomas; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Hou, Jun-li; Kumar, Manish

    2015-08-11

    Bioinspired artificial water channels aim to combine the high permeability and selectivity of biological aquaporin (AQP) water channels with chemical stability. Here, we carefully characterized a class of artificial water channels, peptide-appended pillar[5]arenes (PAPs). The average single-channel osmotic water permeability for PAPs is 1.0( 0.3) 10(-14) cm(3)/s or 3.5( 1.0) 10(8) water molecules per s, which is in the range of AQPs (3.4 ? 40.3 10(8) water molecules per s) and their current synthetic analogs, carbon nanotubes (CNTs, 9.0 10(8) water molecules per s). This permeability is an order of magnitude higher than first-generation artificial water channels (20 to ? 10(7) water molecules per s). Furthermore, within lipid bilayers, PAP channels can self-assemble into 2D arrays. Relevant to permeable membrane design, the pore density of PAP channel arrays (? 2.6 10(5) pores per ?m(2)) is two orders of magnitude higher than that of CNT membranes (0.1 ? 2.5 10(3) pores per ?m(2)). PAP channels thus combine the advantages of biological channels and CNTs and improve upon them through their relatively simple synthesis, chemical stability, and propensity to form arrays. PMID:26216964

  8. Highly permeable artificial water channels that can self-assemble into two-dimensional arrays

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yue-xiao; Si, Wen; Erbakan, Mustafa; Decker, Karl; De Zorzi, Rita; Saboe, Patrick O.; Kang, You Jung; Majd, Sheereen; Butler, Peter J.; Walz, Thomas; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Hou, Jun-li; Kumar, Manish

    2015-01-01

    Bioinspired artificial water channels aim to combine the high permeability and selectivity of biological aquaporin (AQP) water channels with chemical stability. Here, we carefully characterized a class of artificial water channels, peptide-appended pillar[5]arenes (PAPs). The average single-channel osmotic water permeability for PAPs is 1.0(±0.3) × 10−14 cm3/s or 3.5(±1.0) × 108 water molecules per s, which is in the range of AQPs (3.4∼40.3 × 108 water molecules per s) and their current synthetic analogs, carbon nanotubes (CNTs, 9.0 × 108 water molecules per s). This permeability is an order of magnitude higher than first-generation artificial water channels (20 to ∼107 water molecules per s). Furthermore, within lipid bilayers, PAP channels can self-assemble into 2D arrays. Relevant to permeable membrane design, the pore density of PAP channel arrays (∼2.6 × 105 pores per μm2) is two orders of magnitude higher than that of CNT membranes (0.1∼2.5 × 103 pores per μm2). PAP channels thus combine the advantages of biological channels and CNTs and improve upon them through their relatively simple synthesis, chemical stability, and propensity to form arrays. PMID:26216964

  9. Energy transfer in aggregates of bacteriochlorophyll c self-assembled with azulene derivatives.

    PubMed

    Mat?nov, Martina; Lorelei Horhoiu, Viviana; Dang, Florian-Xuan; Pospil, Petr; Alster, Jan; Burda, Jaroslav V; Balaban, Teodor Silviu; Pen?k, Jakub

    2014-08-21

    Bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c is the main light-harvesting pigment of certain photosynthetic bacteria. It is found in the form of self-assembled aggregates in the so-called chlorosomes. Here we report the results of co-aggregation experiments of BChl c with azulene and its tailored derivatives. We have performed spectroscopic and quantum chemical characterization of the azulenes, followed by self-assembly experiments. The results show that only azulenes with sufficient hydrophobicity are able to induce aggregation of BChl c. Interestingly, only azulene derivatives possessing a conjugated phenyl ring were capable of efficient (?50%) excitation energy transfer to BChl molecules. These aggregates represent an artificial light-harvesting complex with enhanced absorption between 220 and 350 nm compared to aggregates of pure BChl c. The results provide insight into the principles of self-assembly of BChl aggregates and suggest an important role of the ?-? interactions in efficient energy transfer. PMID:24999619

  10. Membranes with artificial free-volume enabled by block copolymer self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petzetakis, Nikos; Balsara, Nitash

    2015-03-01

    There has been considerable success towards the development of polymeric porous materials with pore sizes in the meso- or macro-scale regime. However, manipulation of polymer porosity in the micro-scale (pore diameter < 2nm) remains challenging. Previous studies relied on changes on the chemical composition and structure of the polymeric material in order to achieve the formation of larger fractional free volume. In the present report we demonstrate a methodology with which we can force a polymeric material away from structural equilibrium and then kinetically arrest it at this -out of equilibrium- state, ultimately, enabling the creation of a polymeric material with artificial free volume. Our methodology is based on block copolymer/homopolymer binary blend self-assembly where the membranes are made by first creating a heterogeneous film of a ABA type triblock copolymer containing a soluble homopolymer, B. Then in a second washing step the soluble homopolymer chains are dissolved away. The volume fraction of the composite membrane occupied initially by chains of homopolymer B is now converted to extra free volume in the microphase of block B. Key role of block A is to kinetically arrest the structure of the polymer during and after the washing step.

  11. Selective internalization of self-assembled artificial oil bodies by HER2/neu-positive cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Chung-Jen; Lin, Li-Jen; Lin, Che-Chin; Chang, Chih-Hsiang; Chao, Yun-Peng

    2011-01-01

    A novel delivery carrier was developed using artificial oil bodies (AOBs). Plant seed oil bodies (OBs) consist of a triacylglycerol matrix surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipids embedded with the storage protein oleosin (Ole). Ole consists of a central hydrophobic domain with two amphiphatic arms that extrude from the surface of OBs. In this study, a bivalent anti-HER2/neu affibody domain (ZH2) was fused with Ole at the C terminus. After overproduction in Escherichia coli, the fusion protein (Ole-ZH2) was recovered to assemble AOBs. The size of self-assembled AOBs was tailored by varying the oil/Ole-ZH2 ratio and pH to reach a nanoscale. Upon co-incubation with tumor cells, the nanoscale AOBs encapsulated with a hydrophobic fluorescence dye were selectively internalized by HER2/neu-overexpressing cells and displayed biocompatibility with the cells. In addition, the ZH2-mediated endosomal entry of AOBs occurred in a time- and AOB dose-dependent manner. The internalization efficiency was as high as 90%. The internalized AOBs disintegrated at the non-permissive pH (e.g. in acidic endosomes) and the cargo dye was released. Results of in vitro study revealed a sustained and prolonged release profile. Taken together, our findings indicate the potential of AOBs as a delivery carrier.

  12. Designing artificial 3D helicates: unprecedented self-assembly of homo-octanuclear tetrapods with europium.

    PubMed

    Zebret, Soumaila; Vgele, Eliane; Klumpler, Tomas; Hamacek, Josef

    2015-04-27

    Herein, we report on the rational design, preparation and characterization of a novel homo-octanuclear helicate, which results from a spatial extension of the central tetranuclear platform. The 3D supramolecular assembly is obtained by complexing europium(III) with a new hexatopic tripodal ligand. The isolated octanuclear helicate is fully characterized by different methods clearly evidencing the structure predicted with molecular modelling. The ligand preorganization plays a crucial role in a successful self-assembly process and induces the formation of a well-defined triple-stranded helical structure. This prototypal octanuclear edifice accommodating functional lanthanides within a 3D scaffold offers attractive perspectives for further applications. PMID:25765709

  13. In vitro re-hardening of artificial enamel caries lesions using enamel matrix proteins or self-assembling peptides

    PubMed Central

    Schmidlin, Patrick; Zobrist, Katja; Attin, Thomas; Wegehaupt, Florian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objectives To assess the re-hardening potential of enamel matrix derivatives (EMD) and self-assembling peptides in vitro, hypothesizing that these materials may increase the mineralization of artificial carious lesions and improve hardness profiles. Material and Methods Forty-eight enamel samples were prepared from extracted bovine lower central incisors. After embedding and polishing, nail varnish was applied, leaving a defined test area. One third of this area was covered with a flowable composite (non-demineralized control). The remaining area was demineralized in an acidic buffer solution for 18 d to simulate a carious lesion. Half the demineralized area was then covered with composite (demineralized control), while the last third was left open for three test and one control treatments: (A) Application of enamel-matrix proteins (EMD - lyophilized protein fractions dissolved in acetic acid, Straumann), (B) self-assembling peptides (SAP, Curodont), or (C) amine fluoride solution (Am-F, GABA) for 5 min each. Untreated samples (D) served as control. After treatment, samples were immersed in artificial saliva for four weeks (remineralization phase) and microhardness (Knoop) depth profiles (25-300 µm) were obtained at sections. Two-way ANOVA was calculated to determine differences between the areas (re-hardening or softening). Results Decalcification resulted in significant softening of the subsurface enamel in all groups (A-D). A significant re-hardening up to 125 µm was observed in the EMD and SAP groups. Conclusions This study showed that EMD and SAP were able to improve the hardness profiles when applied to deep demineralized artificial lesions. However, further research is needed to verify and improve this observed effect. PMID:27008255

  14. Light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S. (Raleigh, NC)

    2002-01-01

    A light harvesting array useful for the manufacture of devices such as solar cells comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2, and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  15. Self-assembled chromophores within mesoporous nanocrystalline TiO2: towards biomimetic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Marek, Peter L; Sieger, Hermann; Scherer, Torsten; Hahn, Horst; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2009-06-01

    Artificial light-harvesting antennas consisting of self-assembled chromophores that mimic the natural pigments of photosynthetic bacteria have been inserted into voids induced in porous titania (TiO2, anatase) in order to investigate their suitability for hybrid solar cells. Mesoporous nanocrystalline TiO2 with additional uniform macropores was treated with precursor solutions of the pigment which was then induced to self-assemble within the voids. The chromophores were tailored to combine the self-assembly characteristics of the natural bacteriochlorophylls with the robustness of artificial Zn-porphyrins being stable for prolonged periods even upon heating to over 200 degrees C. They assemble on the TiO2 surface to form nano- to micro-crystalline structures with lengths from tens of nm up to several microm and show a photosensitization effect which is supposed to be dependent on the assembly size. The natural examples of these antennas are found in green sulfur bacteria which are able to use photosynthesis in deep water regions with minute light intensities. The implementation of biomimetic antennas for light harvesting and a better photon management may lead to a rise in efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells also under low light illumination conditions. PMID:19504907

  16. Natural strategies for photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Croce, Roberta; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2014-07-01

    Photosynthetic organisms are crucial for life on Earth as they provide food and oxygen and are at the basis of most energy resources. They have a large variety of light-harvesting strategies that allow them to live nearly everywhere where sunlight can penetrate. They have adapted their pigmentation to the spectral composition of light in their habitat, they acclimate to slowly varying light intensities and they rapidly respond to fast changes in light quality and quantity. This is particularly important for oxygen-producing organisms because an overdose of light in combination with oxygen can be lethal. Rapid progress is being made in understanding how different organisms maximize light harvesting and minimize deleterious effects. Here we summarize the latest findings and explain the main design principles used in nature. The available knowledge can be used for optimizing light harvesting in both natural and artificial photosynthesis to improve light-driven production processes. PMID:24937067

  17. Light-harvesting polymer systems

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, M.A.; Jones, W.E. Jr.; Watkins, D.M. )

    1993-03-15

    The parallel goals of understanding natural photosynthesis and of efficiently using solar energy as an alternative to burning fossil fuels to meet human energy needs have led to a substantial, multidisciplinary research effort aimed at preparing artificial systems that can convert solar light to useful chemical energy. Polymers are particularly attractive for this application because new synthetic methods make it possible to prepare systematically derivatized polymer arrays that can collect and convert light energy. There are other reasons as well for investigating these synthetic systems. Light-sensitive polymer arrays might make valuable contributions to the burgeoning areas of heterogeneous catalysis, non-silver-based imaging, information storage, electroresponsive materials for displays and remote sensing, and chemical analysis. Together these possibilities provide substantial incentives to devise and assemble new, more efficient light-harvesting systems and to acquire in the process a better understanding--at a fundamental level--of these systems' molecular and electronic properties.

  18. Dynamic, self-assembled aggregates of magnetized, millimeter-sized objects rotating at the liquid-air interface: Macroscopic, two-dimensional classical artificial atoms and molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Grzybowski, Bartosz A.; Jiang, Xingyu; Stone, Howard A.; Whitesides, George M.

    2001-07-01

    This paper describes self-assembly of millimeter-sized, magnetized disks floating on a liquid-air interface, and rotating under the influence of a rotating external magnetic field. Spinning of the disks results in hydrodynamic repulsion between them, while the rotating magnetic field produces an average confining potential acting on all disks. The interplay between hydrodynamic and magnetic interactions leads to the formation of patterns. Theoretical analysis of hydrodynamic and magnetic forces indicates that the interactions in this system are similar to those acting in systems of finite numbers of particles behaving classically (''classical artificial atoms''). Macroscopic artificial atoms and molecules are described, and the rules governing their morphologies outlined.

  19. Tetraphenylethene-based star shaped porphyrins: synthesis, self-assembly, and optical and photophysical study.

    PubMed

    Rananaware, Anushri; Bhosale, Rajesh S; Ohkubo, Kei; Patil, Hemlata; Jones, Lathe A; Jackson, Sam L; Fukuzumi, Shunichi; Bhosale, Sidhanath V; Bhosale, Sheshanath V

    2015-04-17

    Supramolecular self-assembly and self-organization are simple and convenient ways to design and create controlled assemblies with organic molecules, and they have provoked great interest due to their potential applications in various fields, such as electronics, photonics, and light-energy conversion. Herein, we describe the synthesis of two ?-conjugated porphyrin molecules bearing tetraphenylethene moieties with high fluorescence quantum yield. Photophysical and electrochemical studies were conducted to understand the physical and redox properties of these new materials, respectively. Furthermore, these derivatives were used to investigate self-assembly via the solvophobic effect. The self-assembled aggregation was performed in nonpolar and polar organic solvents and forms nanospheres and ring-like nanostructures, respectively. The solution based aggregation was studied by means of UV-vis absorption, emission, XRD, and DLS analyses. Self-assembled ring-shape structures were visualized by SEM and TEM imaging. This ring-shape morphology of nanosized macromolecules might be a good candidate for the creation of artificial light-harvesting nanodevices. PMID:25822257

  20. Towards a comprehensive insight into efficient hydrogen production by self-assembled Ru(bpy)3(2+)-polymer-Pt artificial photosystems.

    PubMed

    Lin, Huan; Liu, Dan; Long, Jinlin; Zhang, Zizhong; Zhuang, Huaqiang; Zheng, Yi; Wang, Xuxu

    2015-04-28

    The role of polymers in artificial photosystems has been studied in detail. The photosystems were composed of tris(2,2'-bipyridyl) ruthenium(II) chloride as a photosensitizer (PS), colloidal Pt stabilized by polymer as a hydrogen-evolving catalyst and sodium ascorbate as an electron donor, without the addition of a traditional molecular electron mediator. Comprehensive insights into the production of hydrogen on irradiation with visible light were achieved. Several polymers, including neutral polyvinyl pyrrolidone, anionic poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate) and poly(acrylic acid) not only stabilized the nanoparticles, but were also effective in the production of hydrogen. Under the optimum conditions, an outstanding apparent quantum efficiency of 12.8% for the evolution of hydrogen was achieved. The formation of self-assembled and spatially separated donor-acceptor complexes via the non-covalent intermolecular interaction between PS and the polymer-Pt was pivotal in the efficient conversion of solar energy to hydrogen fuel. Important details of the photo-induced electron and energy transfer processes in the self-assembled artificial photosystems were determined by nanosecond transient absorption spectrometry and time-resolved fluorescence spectrometry. The initial step in the photo-catalytic production of hydrogen was a reductive quenching of the triplet excited state of the PS by sodium ascorbate, leading to a reduced form of PS, which could then be quickly quenched by the polymer. The rate-determining step was the electron transfer from PS to the catalyst via the polymer bridge. PMID:25811660

  1. Self-assembled lipid bilayer materials

    DOEpatents

    Sasaki, Darryl Y.; Waggoner, Tina A.; Last, Julie A.

    2005-11-08

    The present invention is a self-assembling material comprised of stacks of lipid bilayers formed in a columnar structure, where the assembly process is mediated and regulated by chemical recognition events. The material, through the chemical recognition interactions, has a self-regulating system that corrects the radial size of the assembly creating a uniform diameter throughout most of the structure. The materials form and are stable in aqueous solution. These materials are useful as structural elements for the architecture of materials and components in nanotechnology, efficient light harvesting systems for optical sensing, chemical processing centers, and drug delivery vehicles.

  2. OligArch: A software tool to allow artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS) to guide the autonomous self-assembly of long DNA constructs from multiple DNA single strands.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Kevin M; Benner, Steven A

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biologists wishing to self-assemble large DNA (L-DNA) constructs from small DNA fragments made by automated synthesis need fragments that hybridize predictably. Such predictability is difficult to obtain with nucleotides built from just the four standard nucleotides. Natural DNA's peculiar combination of strong and weak G:C and A:T pairs, the context-dependence of the strengths of those pairs, unimolecular strand folding that competes with desired interstrand hybridization, and non-Watson-Crick interactions available to standard DNA, all contribute to this unpredictability. In principle, adding extra nucleotides to the genetic alphabet can improve the predictability and reliability of autonomous DNA self-assembly, simply by increasing the information density of oligonucleotide sequences. These extra nucleotides are now available as parts of artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS), and tools are now available to generate entirely standard DNA from AEGIS DNA during PCR amplification. Here, we describe the OligArch (for "oligonucleotide architecting") software, an application that permits synthetic biologists to engineer optimally self-assembling DNA constructs from both six- and eight-letter AEGIS alphabets. This software has been used to design oligonucleotides that self-assemble to form complete genes from 20 or more single-stranded synthetic oligonucleotides. OligArch is therefore a key element of a scalable and integrated infrastructure for the rapid and designed engineering of biology. PMID:25161743

  3. OligArch: A software tool to allow artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS) to guide the autonomous self-assembly of long DNA constructs from multiple DNA single strands

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Summary Synthetic biologists wishing to self-assemble large DNA (L-DNA) constructs from small DNA fragments made by automated synthesis need fragments that hybridize predictably. Such predictability is difficult to obtain with nucleotides built from just the four standard nucleotides. Natural DNA's peculiar combination of strong and weak G:C and A:T pairs, the context-dependence of the strengths of those pairs, unimolecular strand folding that competes with desired interstrand hybridization, and non-WatsonCrick interactions available to standard DNA, all contribute to this unpredictability. In principle, adding extra nucleotides to the genetic alphabet can improve the predictability and reliability of autonomous DNA self-assembly, simply by increasing the information density of oligonucleotide sequences. These extra nucleotides are now available as parts of artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS), and tools are now available to generate entirely standard DNA from AEGIS DNA during PCR amplification. Here, we describe the OligArch (for "oligonucleotide architecting") software, an application that permits synthetic biologists to engineer optimally self-assembling DNA constructs from both six- and eight-letter AEGIS alphabets. This software has been used to design oligonucleotides that self-assemble to form complete genes from 20 or more single-stranded synthetic oligonucleotides. OligArch is therefore a key element of a scalable and integrated infrastructure for the rapid and designed engineering of biology. PMID:25161743

  4. Biogenesis of light harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Dall'Osto, Luca; Bressan, Mauro; Bassi, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    The LHC family includes nuclear-encoded, integral thylakoid membrane proteins, most of which coordinate chlorophyll and xanthophyll chromophores. By assembling with the core complexes of both photosystems, LHCs form a flexible peripheral moiety for enhancing light-harvesting cross-section, regulating its efficiency and providing protection against photo-oxidative stress. Upon its first appearance, LHC proteins underwent evolutionary diversification into a large protein family with a complex genetic redundancy. Such differentiation appears as a crucial event in the adaptation of photosynthetic organisms to changing environmental conditions and land colonization. The structure of photosystems, including nuclear- and chloroplast-encoded subunits, presented the cell with a number of challenges for the control of the light harvesting function. Indeed, LHC-encoding messages are translated in the cytosol, and pre-proteins imported into the chloroplast, processed to their mature size and targeted to the thylakoids where are assembled with chromophores. Thus, a tight coordination between nuclear and plastid gene expression, in response to environmental stimuli, is required to adjust LHC composition during photoacclimation. In recent years, remarkable progress has been achieved in elucidating structure, function and regulatory pathways involving LHCs; however, a number of molecular details still await elucidation. In this review, we will provide an overview on the current knowledge on LHC biogenesis, ranging from organization of pigment-protein complexes to the modulation of gene expression, import and targeting to the photosynthetic membranes, and regulation of LHC assembly and turnover. Genes controlling these events are potential candidate for biotechnological applications aimed at optimizing light use efficiency of photosynthetic organisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chloroplast biogenesis. PMID:25687893

  5. Principles of light harvesting from single photosynthetic complexes.

    PubMed

    Schlau-Cohen, G S

    2015-06-01

    Photosynthetic systems harness sunlight to power most life on Earth. In the initial steps of photosynthetic light harvesting, absorbed energy is converted to chemical energy with near-unity quantum efficiency. This is achieved by an efficient, directional and regulated flow of energy through a network of proteins. Here, we discuss the following three key principles of this flow and of photosynthetic light harvesting: thermal fluctuations of the protein structure; intrinsic conformational switches with defined functional consequences; and environmentally triggered conformational switches. Through these principles, photosynthetic systems balance two types of operational costs: metabolic costs, or the cost of maintaining and running the molecular machinery, and opportunity costs, or the cost of losing any operational time. Understanding how the molecular machinery and dynamics are designed to balance these costs may provide a blueprint for improved artificial light-harvesting devices. With a multi-disciplinary approach combining knowledge of biology, this blueprint could lead to low-cost and more effective solar energy conversion. Photosynthetic systems achieve widespread light harvesting across the Earth's surface; in the face of our growing energy needs, this is functionality we need to replicate, and perhaps emulate. PMID:26052423

  6. Self-assembling RNA square

    SciTech Connect

    Dibrov, Sergey M.; McLean, Jaime; Parsons, Jerod; Hermann, Thomas

    2011-12-22

    The three-dimensional structures of noncoding RNA molecules reveal recurring architectural motifs that have been exploited for the design of artificial RNA nanomaterials. Programmed assembly of RNA nanoobjects from autonomously folding tetraloop-receptor complexes as well as junction motifs has been achieved previously through sequence-directed hybridization of complex sets of long oligonucleotides. Due to size and complexity, structural characterization of artificial RNA nanoobjects has been limited to low-resolution microscopy studies. Here we present the design, construction, and crystal structure determination at 2.2 {angstrom} of the smallest yet square-shaped nanoobject made entirely of double-stranded RNA. The RNA square is comprised of 100 residues and self-assembles from four copies each of two oligonucleotides of 10 and 15 bases length. Despite the high symmetry on the level of secondary structure, the three-dimensional architecture of the square is asymmetric, with all four corners adopting distinct folding patterns. We demonstrate the programmed self-assembly of RNA squares from complex mixtures of corner units and establish a concept to exploit the RNA square as a combinatorial nanoscale platform.

  7. Self assembling proteins

    DOEpatents

    Yeates, Todd O.; Padilla, Jennifer; Colovos, Chris

    2004-06-29

    Novel fusion proteins capable of self-assembling into regular structures, as well as nucleic acids encoding the same, are provided. The subject fusion proteins comprise at least two oligomerization domains rigidly linked together, e.g. through an alpha helical linking group. Also provided are regular structures comprising a plurality of self-assembled fusion proteins of the subject invention, and methods for producing the same. The subject fusion proteins find use in the preparation of a variety of nanostructures, where such structures include: cages, shells, double-layer rings, two-dimensional layers, three-dimensional crystals, filaments, and tubes.

  8. Modeling Protein Self Assembly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton Buck; Hull, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    Understanding the structure and function of proteins is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Proteins serve vital roles within the cell and malfunctions in protein self assembly are implicated in degenerative diseases. Experience indicates that this topic is a difficult one for many students. We have found that the concept…

  9. Photovoltaic self-assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Lavin, Judith; Kemp, Richard Alan; Stewart, Constantine A.

    2010-10-01

    This late-start LDRD was focused on the application of chemical principles of self-assembly on the ordering and placement of photovoltaic cells in a module. The drive for this chemical-based self-assembly stems from the escalating prices in the 'pick-and-place' technology currently used in the MEMS industries as the size of chips decreases. The chemical self-assembly principles are well-known on a molecular scale in other material science systems but to date had not been applied to the assembly of cells in a photovoltaic array or module. We explored several types of chemical-based self-assembly techniques, including gold-thiol interactions, liquid polymer binding, and hydrophobic-hydrophilic interactions designed to array both Si and GaAs PV chips onto a substrate. Additional research was focused on the modification of PV cells in an effort to gain control over the facial directionality of the cells in a solvent-based environment. Despite being a small footprint research project worked on for only a short time, the technical results and scientific accomplishments were significant and could prove to be enabling technology in the disruptive advancement of the microelectronic photovoltaics industry.

  10. Self-assembly concepts for multicompartment nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Grschel, Andr H; Mller, Axel H E

    2015-07-28

    Compartmentalization is ubiquitous to many biological and artificial systems, be it for the separate storage of incompatible matter or to isolate transport processes. Advancements in the synthesis of sequential block copolymers offer a variety of tools to replicate natural design principles with tailor-made soft matter for the precise spatial separation of functionalities on multiple length scales. Here, we review recent trends in the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers to multicompartment nanostructures (MCNs) under (semi-)dilute conditions, with special emphasis on ABC triblock terpolymers. The intrinsic immiscibility of connected blocks induces short-range repulsion into discrete nano-domains stabilized by a third, soluble block or molecular additive. Polymer blocks can be synthesized from an arsenal of functional monomers directing self-assembly through packing frustration or response to various fields. The mobility in solution further allows the manipulation of self-assembly processes into specific directions by clever choice of environmental conditions. This review focuses on practical concepts that direct self-assembly into predictable nanostructures, while narrowing particle dispersity with respect to size, shape and internal morphology. The growing understanding of underlying self-assembly mechanisms expands the number of experimental concepts providing the means to target and manipulate progressively complex superstructures. PMID:26123217

  11. Self-assembly concepts for multicompartment nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grschel, Andr H.; Mller, Axel H. E.

    2015-07-01

    Compartmentalization is ubiquitous to many biological and artificial systems, be it for the separate storage of incompatible matter or to isolate transport processes. Advancements in the synthesis of sequential block copolymers offer a variety of tools to replicate natural design principles with tailor-made soft matter for the precise spatial separation of functionalities on multiple length scales. Here, we review recent trends in the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers to multicompartment nanostructures (MCNs) under (semi-)dilute conditions, with special emphasis on ABC triblock terpolymers. The intrinsic immiscibility of connected blocks induces short-range repulsion into discrete nano-domains stabilized by a third, soluble block or molecular additive. Polymer blocks can be synthesized from an arsenal of functional monomers directing self-assembly through packing frustration or response to various fields. The mobility in solution further allows the manipulation of self-assembly processes into specific directions by clever choice of environmental conditions. This review focuses on practical concepts that direct self-assembly into predictable nanostructures, while narrowing particle dispersity with respect to size, shape and internal morphology. The growing understanding of underlying self-assembly mechanisms expands the number of experimental concepts providing the means to target and manipulate progressively complex superstructures.

  12. Coupling of different isolated photosynthetic light harvesting complexes and CdSe/ZnS nanocrystals via Frster resonance energy transfer.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, F-J; Maksimov, E G; Htti, P; Weienborn, J; Jeyasangar, V; Razjivin, A P; Paschenko, V Z; Friedrich, T; Renger, G

    2012-08-01

    The present work describes results obtained on hybrid systems formed in aqueous buffer solution by self-assembly of different CdSe quantum dots (QDs) surrounded by a ZnS shell and functionalized by covering the surface with anionic and cationic groups and various isolated pigment-protein complexes from the light-harvesting antennae of photosynthetic organisms (light-harvesting complexes 1 and 2 (LH1 and LH2, respectively) from purple bacteria, phycobiliproteins (PBPs) from cyanobacteria and the rod-shaped PBP from the cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina). Excitation energy transfer (EET) from QDs to PBP rods was found to take place with varying and highly temperature-dependent efficiencies of up to 90%. Experiments performed at room temperature on hybrid systems with different QDs show that no straightforward correlation exists between the efficiency of EET and the parameter J/(R(12)(6)) given by the theory of Frster resonance energy transfer (FRET), where J is the overlap integral of the normalized QD emission and PBP absorption and R(12) the distance between the transition dipole moments of donor and acceptor. The results show that the hybrid systems cannot be described as randomly orientated aggregates consisting of QDs and photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes. Specific structural parameters are inferred to play an essential role. The mode of binding and coupling seems to change with the size of QDs and with temperature. Efficient EET and fluorescence enhancement of the acceptor was observed at particular stoichiometric ratios between QDs and trimeric phycoerythrin (PE). At higher concentrations of PE, a quenching of its fluorescence is observed in the presence of QDs. This effect is explained by the existence of additional quenching channels in aggregates formed within hybrid systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: from Natural to Artificial. PMID:22503663

  13. Energy, charge, and spin transport in molecules and self-assembled nanostructures inspired by photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Wasielewski, Michael R

    2006-07-01

    Electron transfer in biological molecules provides both insight and inspiration for developing chemical systems having similar functionality. Photosynthesis is an example of an integrated system in which light harvesting, photoinduced charge separation, and catalysis combine to carry out two thermodynamically demanding processes, the oxidation of water and the reduction of carbon dioxide. The development of artificial photosynthetic systems for solar energy conversion requires a fundamental understanding of electron-transfer reactions between organic molecules. Since these reactions most often involve single-electron transfers, the spin dynamics of photogenerated radical ion pairs provide important information on how the rates and efficiencies of these reactions depend on molecular structure. Given this knowledge, the design and synthesis of large integrated structures to carry out artificial photosynthesis is moving forward. An important approach to achieving this goal is the development of small, functional building blocks, having a minimum number of covalent bonds, which also have the appropriate molecular recognition sites to facilitate self-assembly into a complete, functional artificial photosynthetic system. PMID:16808492

  14. Self-assembling cytotoxins.

    PubMed

    Rideout, D

    1986-08-01

    Decanal and N-amino-N'-1-octylguanidine (AOG), combined at 28 microM each, mediated erythrocyte lysis within 80 minutes under physiological conditions. By contrast, no lysis was observed after 20 hours with either decanal (56 microM) or AOG (100 microM) alone. The pronounced synergism observed for these chemicals and similar reactive pairs of chemicals is due to the self-assembly of more cytotoxic hydrazones in situ. Decanal and AOG also exhibit synergistic activity against cultured human cells (HeLa) and bacteria (Escherichia coli J96). This synergism may be useful in the design of cytotoxins that would self-assemble selectively from nontoxic precursors within tumors, while sparing normal tissue. PMID:3523757

  15. PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Niederman, Robert A.; Blankenship, Robert E.; Frank, Harry A.

    2015-02-07

    These funds were used for partial support of the PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems, that was held on 8-11 August, 2013, at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. This conference, held in conjunction with the 16th International Congress on Photosynthesis/St. Louis, continued a long tradition of light-harvesting satellite conferences that have been held prior to the previous six international photosynthesis congresses. In this Workshop, the basis was explored for the current interest in replacing fossil fuels with energy sources derived form direct solar radiation, coupled with light-driven electron transport in natural photosynthetic systems and how they offer a valuable blueprint for conversion of sunlight to useful energy forms. This was accomplished through sessions on the initial light-harvesting events in the biological conversion of solar energy to chemically stored energy forms, and how these natural photosynthetic processes serve as a guide to the development of robust bio-hybrid and artificial systems for solar energy conversion into both electricity or chemical fuels. Organized similar to a Gordon Research Conference, a lively, informal and collegial setting was established, highlighting the exchange of exciting new data and unpublished results from ongoing studies. A significant amount of time was set aside for open discussion and interactive poster sessions, with a special session devoted to oral presentations by talented students and postdoctoral fellows judged to have the best posters. This area of research has seen exceptionally rapid progress in recent years, with the availability of a number of antenna protein structures at atomic resolution, elucidation of the molecular surface architecture of native photosynthetic membranes by atomic force microscopy and the maturing of ultrafast spectroscopic and molecular biological techniques for the investigation and manipulation of photosynthetic systems. The conferees represented a diverse international and multidisciplinary group, with over 160 individuals attending from a total of 17 different countries. Attendees came from a wide range of fields assuring that the widest possible interdisciplinary exchanges. They included prominent biochemists, biophysicists, plant physiologists, chemical physicists, as well as theoretical and computational physical chemists, who presented their research findings or to hear the latest advances in this very dynamic field. In the choice of speakers, a balance was created between established scientists and young, emerging researchers, given this opportunity to showcase their results. Sessions were held on electronic and vibrational coherence including coherent sharing of excitations among donor and acceptor molecules during excitation energy transfer, nonphotochemical quenching, acclimation to light environments, evolution, adaptation and biodiversity of light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes, their structure and membrane organization, spectroscopy and dynamics, as well as artificial antenna systems. A joint session was also held with the participants from the Cyanobacterial Satellite Conference. A special issue of Photosynthesis Research devoted to light harvesting (Volume 121, Issue No. 1, July 2014) has recently appeared which contains peer-reviewed original research contributions arising from talks and posters presented at the PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems. Edited by the Organizers of the Workshop, Robert E. Blankenship, Harry A. Frank and Robert A. Niederman, it includes topics ranging from the isolation of new bacteriochlorophyll species from green bacteria, temperature effects on the excited states of the newly discovered chlorophyll (Chl) ƒ, new architectures for enhancing energy capture by biohybrid light-harvesting complexes, forces governing the formation of light-harvesting rings, spectroscopy of carotenoids of algae and diatoms and the supramolecular organization of caroteno-Chl proteins in diatoms, the molecular basis for urea dissociation of phycocyanin trimers and the role of vibronic molecular excitation theory in describing the spectral dynamics of pigment-protein complexes.

  16. Binary ionic porphyrin nanosheets: electronic and light-harvesting properties regulated by crystal structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yongming; M. Beavers, Christine; Busani, Tito; Martin, Kathleen E.; Jacobsen, John L.; Mercado, Brandon Q.; Swartzentruber, Brian S.; van Swol, Frank; Medforth, Craig J.; Shelnutt, John A.

    2012-02-01

    Crystalline solids self-assembled from anionic and cationic porphyrins provide a new class of multifunctional optoelectronic micro- and nanomaterials. A 1 : 1 combination of zinc(ii) tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (ZnTPPS) and tin(iv) tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridiniumyl)porphyrin (SnTNMePyP) gives porphyrin nanosheets with high aspect ratios and varying thickness. The room temperature preparation of the nanosheets has provided the first X-ray crystal structure of a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid. The unit cell contains one and one-half molecules of aquo-ZnTPPS4- (an electron donor) and three half molecules of dihydroxy-SnTNMePyP4+ (an electron acceptor). Charge balance in the solid is reached without any non-porphyrinic ions, as previously determined for other CBI nanomaterials by non-crystallographic means. The crystal structure reveals a complicated molecular arrangement with slipped ?-? stacking only occurring in isolated dimers of one of the symmetrically unique zinc porphyrins. Consistent with the crystal structure, UV-visible J-aggregate bands indicative of exciton delocalization and extended ?-? stacking are not observed. XRD measurements show that the structure of the Zn/Sn nanosheets is distinct from that of Zn/Sn four-leaf clover-like CBI solids reported previously. In contrast with the Zn/Sn clovers that do exhibit J-aggregate bands and are photoconductive, the nanosheets are not photoconductive. Even so, the nanosheets act as light-harvesting structures in an artificial photosynthesis system capable of reducing water to hydrogen but not as efficiently as the Zn/Sn clovers.Crystalline solids self-assembled from anionic and cationic porphyrins provide a new class of multifunctional optoelectronic micro- and nanomaterials. A 1 : 1 combination of zinc(ii) tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (ZnTPPS) and tin(iv) tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridiniumyl)porphyrin (SnTNMePyP) gives porphyrin nanosheets with high aspect ratios and varying thickness. The room temperature preparation of the nanosheets has provided the first X-ray crystal structure of a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid. The unit cell contains one and one-half molecules of aquo-ZnTPPS4- (an electron donor) and three half molecules of dihydroxy-SnTNMePyP4+ (an electron acceptor). Charge balance in the solid is reached without any non-porphyrinic ions, as previously determined for other CBI nanomaterials by non-crystallographic means. The crystal structure reveals a complicated molecular arrangement with slipped ?-? stacking only occurring in isolated dimers of one of the symmetrically unique zinc porphyrins. Consistent with the crystal structure, UV-visible J-aggregate bands indicative of exciton delocalization and extended ?-? stacking are not observed. XRD measurements show that the structure of the Zn/Sn nanosheets is distinct from that of Zn/Sn four-leaf clover-like CBI solids reported previously. In contrast with the Zn/Sn clovers that do exhibit J-aggregate bands and are photoconductive, the nanosheets are not photoconductive. Even so, the nanosheets act as light-harvesting structures in an artificial photosynthesis system capable of reducing water to hydrogen but not as efficiently as the Zn/Sn clovers. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Details of the crystallographic refinement, tables of refinement parameters and bond distances and NSD analysis, and figures showing SEM images of Zn/Sn nanosheets and clovers, the solid grown at different porphyrin concentrations, SEM images of nanosheets at high and low magnification, an ORTEP image showing the five crystallographically distinct porphyrin molecules and the water molecules, and a view of the crystal structure down the b axis are given in the ESI. CCDC reference number 833006. For ESI and crystallographic data in CIF or other electronic format see DOI: 10.1039/c2nr11826b

  17. A novel artificial nerve graft for repairing long-distance sciatic nerve defects: a self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) conduit.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianghai; Pan, Mengjie; Wen, Jinkun; Tang, Yinjuan; Hamilton, Audra D; Li, Yuanyuan; Qian, Changhui; Liu, Zhongying; Wu, Wutian; Guo, Jiasong

    2014-12-15

    In this study, we developed a novel artificial nerve graft termed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold (SAPNS)-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) conduit (SPC) and used it to bridge a 10-mm-long sciatic nerve defect in the rat. Retrograde tracing, behavioral testing and histomorphometric analyses showed that compared with the empty PLGA conduit implantation group, the SPC implantation group had a larger number of growing and extending axons, a markedly increased diameter of regenerated axons and a greater thickness of the myelin sheath in the conduit. Furthermore, there was an increase in the size of the neuromuscular junction and myofiber diameter in the target muscle. These findings suggest that the novel artificial SPC nerve graft can promote axonal regeneration and remyelination in the transected peripheral nerve and can be used for repairing peripheral nerve injury. PMID:25657734

  18. A novel artificial nerve graft for repairing long-distance sciatic nerve defects: a self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) conduit

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianghai; Pan, Mengjie; Wen, Jinkun; Tang, Yinjuan; Hamilton, Audra D.; Li, Yuanyuan; Qian, Changhui; Liu, Zhongying; Wu, Wutian; Guo, Jiasong

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we developed a novel artificial nerve graft termed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold (SAPNS)-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) conduit (SPC) and used it to bridge a 10-mm-long sciatic nerve defect in the rat. Retrograde tracing, behavioral testing and histomorphometric analyses showed that compared with the empty PLGA conduit implantation group, the SPC implantation group had a larger number of growing and extending axons, a markedly increased diameter of regenerated axons and a greater thickness of the myelin sheath in the conduit. Furthermore, there was an increase in the size of the neuromuscular junction and myofiber diameter in the target muscle. These findings suggest that the novel artificial SPC nerve graft can promote axonal regeneration and remyelination in the transected peripheral nerve and can be used for repairing peripheral nerve injury. PMID:25657734

  19. Binary ionic porphyrin nanosheets: electronic and light-harvesting properties regulated by crystal structure.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yongming; Beavers, Christine M; Busani, Tito; Martin, Kathleen E; Jacobsen, John L; Mercado, Brandon Q; Swartzentruber, Brian S; van Swol, Frank; Medforth, Craig J; Shelnutt, John A

    2012-03-01

    Crystalline solids self-assembled from anionic and cationic porphyrins provide a new class of multifunctional optoelectronic micro- and nanomaterials. A 1?:?1 combination of zinc(II) tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (ZnTPPS) and tin(IV) tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridiniumyl)porphyrin (SnTNMePyP) gives porphyrin nanosheets with high aspect ratios and varying thickness. The room temperature preparation of the nanosheets has provided the first X-ray crystal structure of a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid. The unit cell contains one and one-half molecules of aquo-ZnTPPS(4-) (an electron donor) and three half molecules of dihydroxy-SnTNMePyP(4+) (an electron acceptor). Charge balance in the solid is reached without any non-porphyrinic ions, as previously determined for other CBI nanomaterials by non-crystallographic means. The crystal structure reveals a complicated molecular arrangement with slipped ?-? stacking only occurring in isolated dimers of one of the symmetrically unique zinc porphyrins. Consistent with the crystal structure, UV-visible J-aggregate bands indicative of exciton delocalization and extended ?-? stacking are not observed. XRD measurements show that the structure of the Zn/Sn nanosheets is distinct from that of Zn/Sn four-leaf clover-like CBI solids reported previously. In contrast with the Zn/Sn clovers that do exhibit J-aggregate bands and are photoconductive, the nanosheets are not photoconductive. Even so, the nanosheets act as light-harvesting structures in an artificial photosynthesis system capable of reducing water to hydrogen but not as efficiently as the Zn/Sn clovers. PMID:22310932

  20. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Meyer, Gerald J.

    2003-07-22

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: ##EQU1## wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  1. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S. (Raleigh, NC); Meyer, Gerald J. (Baltimore, MD)

    2002-01-01

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  2. How Quantum Coherence Assists Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Strmpfer, J; ?ener, M; Schulten, K

    2012-01-01

    This perspective examines how hundreds of pigment molecules in purple bacteria cooperate through quantum coherence to achieve remarkable light harvesting efficiency. Quantum coherent sharing of excitation, which modifies excited state energy levels and combines transition dipole moments, enables rapid transfer of excitation over large distances. Purple bacteria exploit the resulting excitation transfer to engage many antenna proteins in light harvesting, thereby increasing the rate of photon absorption and energy conversion. We highlight here how quantum coherence comes about and plays a key role in the photosynthetic apparatus of purple bacteria. PMID:22844553

  3. Toward a molecular programming language for algorithmic self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patitz, Matthew John

    Self-assembly is the process whereby relatively simple components autonomously combine to form more complex objects. Nature exhibits self-assembly to form everything from microscopic crystals to living cells to galaxies. With a desire to both form increasingly sophisticated products and to understand the basic components of living systems, scientists have developed and studied artificial self-assembling systems. One such framework is the Tile Assembly Model introduced by Erik Winfree in 1998. In this model, simple two-dimensional square 'tiles' are designed so that they self-assemble into desired shapes. The work in this thesis consists of a series of results which build toward the future goal of designing an abstracted, high-level programming language for designing the molecular components of self-assembling systems which can perform powerful computations and form into intricate structures. The first two sets of results demonstrate self-assembling systems which perform infinite series of computations that characterize computably enumerable and decidable languages, and exhibit tools for algorithmically generating the necessary sets of tiles. In the next chapter, methods for generating tile sets which self-assemble into complicated shapes, namely a class of discrete self-similar fractal structures, are presented. Next, a software package for graphically designing tile sets, simulating their self-assembly, and debugging designed systems is discussed. Finally, a high-level programming language which abstracts much of the complexity and tedium of designing such systems, while preventing many of the common errors, is presented. The summation of this body of work presents a broad coverage of the spectrum of desired outputs from artificial self-assembling systems and a progression in the sophistication of tools used to design them. By creating a broader and deeper set of modular tools for designing self-assembling systems, we hope to increase the complexity which is attainable. These tools provide a solid foundation for future work in both the Tile Assembly Model and explorations into more advanced models.

  4. Functionalized Nanoparticles and Surfaces for Controlled Chemical Catalysis and Effective Light Harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Marye Anne Fox, James K. Whitesell

    2012-11-02

    We have prepared a range of such arrays as key components for biotechnology and photonic applications. These involve self-assembled arrays of increasing complexity with three-dimensionally disposed multilayer interactions. These arrays also include dendrimers as the distinguishing structural building blocks. These photoactive integrated systems have a regular, highly-branched, three-dimensional architecture. Structural modifications of these units include variation of the core, bridging layers, and terminal groups. These modifications result in a large array of dendritic molecules with potential applications for light harvesting.

  5. Nanopropulsion by biocatalytic self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Leckie, Joy; Hope, Alexander; Hughes, Meghan; Debnath, Sisir; Fleming, Scott; Wark, Alastair W; Ulijn, Rein V; Haw, Mark D

    2014-09-23

    A number of organisms and organelles are capable of self-propulsion at the micro- and nanoscales. Production of simple man-made mimics of biological transportation systems may prove relevant to achieving movement in artificial cells and nano/micronscale robotics that may be of biological and nanotechnological importance. We demonstrate the propulsion of particles based on catalytically controlled molecular self-assembly and fiber formation at the particle surface. Specifically, phosphatase enzymes (acting as the engine) are conjugated to a quantum dot (the vehicle), and are subsequently exposed to micellar aggregates (fuel) that upon biocatalytic dephosphorylation undergo fibrillar self-assembly, which in turn causes propulsion. The motion of individual enzyme/quantum dot conjugates is followed directly using fluorescence microscopy. While overall movement remains random, the enzyme-conjugates exhibit significantly faster transport in the presence of the fiber forming system, compared to controls without fuel, a non-self-assembling substrate, or a substrate which assembles into spherical, rather than fibrous structures upon enzymatic dephosphorylation. When increasing the concentration of the fiber-forming fuel, the speed of the conjugates increases compared to non-self-assembling substrate, although directionality remains random. PMID:25162764

  6. Quantum physics of photosynthetic light-harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damjanovic, Ana

    2001-12-01

    Absorption of light by light harvesting complexes and transfer of electronic excitation to the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) constitutes the primary step of photosynthesis, i.e., the light harvesting process. A model for an atomic level structure of a so-called photosynthetic unit of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides has been established recently. The photosynthetic unit (PSU) of purple bacterium combines a nanometric assembly of three protein complexes: (i)the photosynthetic reaction center, (ii)a ring-shaped light harvesting complex LH-I, and (iii)multiple copies of a similar complex, LH-II. The model describes in detail the organization of pigments involved in primary light absorption and excitation transfer: a hierarchy of ring- shaped chlorophyll-carotenoid aggregates which surround four centrally located chlorophylls of the photosynthetic reaction center. This thesis presents a quantum- mechanical description of the light harvesting process in the PSU, based on the atomic level model. Excitation transfer rates for various excitation transfer steps have been determined through Fermi's golden rule. To describe electronic excitations of the strongly coupled chlorophyll aggregate in LH-II, an effective Hamiltonian has been established. This Hamiltonian has further been extended to describe also the LH-II --> LH-II --> LH-I --> RC cascade of excitation transfer. The results suggest that, in the absence of disorder, the electronic excitations in LH-II are coherently delocalizaed over the ring, and that such excitonic states speed up the light-harvesting process. Influence of thermal disorder on exciton coherence has been studied by means of a combined molecular dynamics/quantum chemistry approach. The results indicate a significant loss of coherence due to thermal effects. Excitation transfer between carotenoids and chlorophylls has been investigated in two light-harvesting complexes; LH-II of the purple bacterium Rhodospirillum molischianum and peridinin-chlorophyll protein of the dinoflagellate Amphidinium carterae. The electronic excitations of carotenoids and BChls have been described by means of semi-empirical self-consistent-field configuration interaction calculations. The electronic coupling between the various electronic excitations has been determined for all orders of multipoles (Coulomb mechanism) and includes the electron exchange (Dexter mechanism) term. We identified the mechanisms and pathways of singlet excitation transfer between carotenoids and chlorophylls. The role of the symmetry breaking in achieving efficient energy transfer through the optically forbidden carotenoid 2Ag state has been investigated.

  7. Evolution and function of light harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Bchel, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic eukaryotes exhibit very different light-harvesting proteins, but all contain membrane-intrinsic light-harvesting complexes (Lhcs), either as additional or sole antennae. Lhcs non-covalently bind chlorophyll a and in most cases another Chl, as well as very different carotenoids, depending on the taxon. The proteins fall into two major groups: The well-defined Lhca/b group of proteins binds typically Chl b and lutein, and the group is present in the 'green lineage'. The other group consists of Lhcr/Lhcf, Lhcz and Lhcx/LhcSR proteins. The former are found in the so-called Chromalveolates, where they mostly bind Chl c and carotenoids very efficient in excitation energy transfer, and in their red algae ancestors. Lhcx/LhcSR are present in most Chromalveolates and in some members of the green lineage as well. Lhcs function in light harvesting, but also in photoprotection, and they influence the organisation of the thylakoid membrane. The different functions of the Lhc subfamilies are discussed in the light of their evolution. PMID:25240794

  8. Gold nanoparticle functionalized artificial nacre: facile in situ growth of nanoparticles on montmorillonite nanosheets, self-assembly, and their multiple properties.

    PubMed

    Yao, Hong-Bin; Mao, Li-Bo; Yan, You-Xian; Cong, Huai-Ping; Lei, Xuan; Yu, Shu-Hong

    2012-09-25

    Artificial nacre based on clay nanosheets have been emerging as a new generation of bioinspired materials due to their super mechanical, fire-retardant, heat-shield, and gas barrier properties. Functional design in artificial nacre is highly demanded to further broaden the applications of these promising bioinspired materials. However, there is rarely a report on the functionalization of artificial nacre at present possibly due to the lack of a feasible strategy to introduce functional components in nacre-like materials without weakening other properties. In this study, we report a feasible method to fabricate artificial nacre-like functional hybrid films by using Au nanoparticle (NP) modified natural clay montmorillonite (MTM) nanosheets as efficient two-dimensional building blocks. First, Au NPs-chitosan-MTM hybrid nanosheets were prepared and homogeneously dispersed in deionized water by the facile in situ growth of Au NPs on chitosan-MTM nanosheets. Then, the obtained Au NPs-chitosan-MTM hybrid nanosheet suspension can be sprayed or vacuum filtrated to form nacre-like layered hybrid nanocoatings or free-standing hybrid films, respectively. Finally, as-fabricated artificial nacre nanocoatings or hybrid films have been demonstrated to behave with surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), catalytic, and photothermal conversion properties indicating the successful functionalization of artificial nacre by introducing Au NPs. PMID:22909252

  9. Light-Harvesting Systems Based on Organic Nanocrystals To Mimic Chlorosomes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peng-Zhong; Weng, Yu-Xiang; Niu, Li-Ya; Chen, Yu-Zhe; Wu, Li-Zhu; Tung, Chen-Ho; Yang, Qing-Zheng

    2016-02-01

    We report the first highly efficient artificial light-harvesting systems based on nanocrystals of difluoroboron chromophores to mimic the chlorosomes, one of the most efficient light-harvesting systems found in green photosynthetic bacteria. Uniform nanocrystals with controlled donor/acceptor ratios were prepared by simple coassembly of the donors and acceptors in water. The light-harvesting system funneled the excitation energy collected by a thousand donor chromophores to a single acceptor. The well-defined spatial organization of individual chromophores in the nanocrystals enabled an energy transfer efficiency of 95 %, even at a donor/acceptor ratio as high as 1000:1, and a significant fluorescence of the acceptor was observed up to donor/acceptor ratios of 200 000:1. PMID:26799735

  10. Self-Assembling Hydrogel Scaffolds for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production

    PubMed Central

    Weingarten, Adam S.; Kazantsev, Roman V.; Palmer, Liam C.; McClendon, Mark; Koltonow, Andrew R.; Samuel, Amanda P. S.; Kiebala, Derek J.; Wasielewski, Michael R.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2015-01-01

    Integration in a soft material of all molecular components necessary to generate storable fuels is an interesting target in supramolecular chemistry. The concept is inspired by the internal structure of photosynthetic organelles such as plant chloroplasts which co-localize molecules involved in light absorption, charge transport, and catalysis to create chemical bonds with light energy. We report here on the light-driven production of hydrogen inside a hydrogel scaffold built by the supramolecular self-assembly of a perylene monoimide amphiphile. The charged ribbons formed can electrostatically attract a nickel-based catalyst, and electrolyte screening promotes gelation. We found the emergent phenomenon that screening by the catalyst or the electrolytes led to two-dimensional crystallization of the chromophore assemblies and enhanced the electronic coupling among the molecules. Photocatalytic production of hydrogen is observed in the three-dimensional environment of the hydrogel scaffold and the material is easily placed on surfaces or in the pores of solid supports. The development of soft materials that integrate all necessary molecular components to generate storable fuels in the presence of sunlight is an unexplored area of chemistry with potential impact in renewable energy. Such systems could have advantages over the use of large volumes of liquids, dispersions of expensive or toxic inorganic particles, or complex devices. The use of such soft materials with integrated functions and high water content is bioinspired by the internal structure of chloroplasts in plants. These photosynthetic organelles have evolved to co-localize within stacked lipid bilayers in their stroma the protein machinery which integrates light-absorption, charge transport, and the catalytic functions necessary to convert light energy into chemical bonds1,2. Efforts to emulate natural photosynthetic systems over the past several decades have concentrated on the development of efficient catalysts for water oxidation and proton reduction3-7. In other recent work, catalysts have been coupled to light absorbing CdSe quantum dots8, Si microrods9, and organic dyes10,11 to create artificial photosynthetic systems. Also functional devices capable of performing water-splitting and fuel-generating reactions using earth-abundant resources have been demonstrated12. The development of bionspired soft materials that can be shaped into forms and integrate light-harvesting, charge transport, and catalytic functions to produce solar fuels is an obvious gap. This gap can be addressed through self-assembly strategies for materials in which a bottom-up approach fine tunes all functional aspects of a catalytic system13. Organic systems may have shorter lifetimes than their inorganic counterparts, but could have their own niche in sustainable energy given their soft matter nature and low energy requirements for production. We report here on a strategy to create supramolecular hydrogels that integrate both light-absorbing chromophores and catalysts into a material for light-driven hydrogen (H2) production. Our work here is focused only on the supramolecular chemistry necessary to create a formable catalytic material and therefore does not explore its possible integration into a photocathode that would not require a sacrificial electron donor. We designed a charged amphiphilic chromophore with the capacity to self-assemble into supramolecular polymers via hydrophobic collapse. At sufficiently high concentrations and under electrostatic screening conditions, charged supramolecular polymers can easily produce a three-dimensional network that takes the form of a gel. These networks could be highly hydrated and host the soluble components necessary to produce the solar fuel. At the same time, much like natural photosynthetic antennae, supramolecular structures of conjugated molecules formed through ? orbital overlap should have the capacity to absorb light, split excitons, and transport the charges to catalytic reaction centers. Despite the large body of work on the gelation and light harvesting abilities of conjugated molecules14, the use of ?-conjugated gels for artificial photosynthetic applications has not been reported. Through molecular design, we demonstrate here a supramolecular catalytic system that localizes catalysts within chromophore gels using electrostatic attraction. PMID:25343600

  11. Temperature and Ionic Strength Effects on the Chlorosome Light-Harvesting Antenna Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Kuo-Hsiang; Zhu, Liying; Urban, Volker S; Collins, Aaron M.; Biswas, Pratim; Blankenship, R. E.

    2011-03-15

    Chlorosomes, the peripheral light-harvesting antenna complex from green photosynthetic bacteria, are the largest and one of the most efficient light-harvesting antenna complexes found in nature. In contrast to other light-harvesting antennas, chlorosomes are constructed from more than 150,000 self-assembled bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) and contain relatively few proteins that play secondary roles. These unique properties have led to chlorosomes as an attractive candidate for developing biohybrid solar cell devices. In this article, we investigate the temperature and ionic strength effects on the viability of chlorosomes from the photosynthetic green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus using small-angle neutron scattering and dynamic light scattering. Our studies indicate that chlorosomes remain intact up to 75 C and that salt induces the formation of large aggregates of chlorosomes. No internal structural changes are observed for the aggregates. The salt-induced aggregation, which is a reversible process, is more efficient with divalent metal ions than with monovalent metal ions. Moreover, with treatment at 98 C for 2 min, the bulk of the chlorosome pigments are undamaged, while the baseplate is destroyed. Chlorosomes without the baseplate remain rodlike in shape and are 30-40% smaller than with the baseplate attached. Further, chlorosomes are stable from pH 5.5 to 11.0. Together, this is the first time such a range of characterization tools have been used for chlorosomes, and this has enabled elucidation of properties that are not only important to understanding their functionality but also may be useful in biohybrid devices for effective light harvesting.

  12. Quantum mechanical light harvesting mechanisms in photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholes, Gregory

    2012-02-01

    More than 10 million billion photons of light strike a leaf each second. Incredibly, almost every red-coloured photon is captured by chlorophyll pigments and initiates steps to plant growth. Last year we reported that marine algae use quantum mechanics in order to optimize photosynthesis [1], a process essential to its survival. These and other insights from the natural world promise to revolutionize our ability to harness the power of the sun. In a recent review [2] we described the principles learned from studies of various natural antenna complexes and suggested how to utilize that knowledge to shape future technologies. We forecast the need to develop ways to direct and regulate excitation energy flow using molecular organizations that facilitate feedback and control--not easy given that the energy is only stored for a billionth of a second. In this presentation I will describe new results that explain the observation and meaning of quantum-coherent energy transfer. [4pt] [1] Elisabetta Collini, Cathy Y. Wong, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M. G. Curmi, Paul Brumer, and Gregory D. Scholes, ``Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature'' Nature 463, 644-648 (2010).[0pt] [2] Gregory D. Scholes, Graham R. Fleming, Alexandra Olaya-Castro and Rienk van Grondelle, ``Lessons from nature about solar light harvesting'' Nature Chem. 3, 763-774 (2011).

  13. Design strategies for self-assembly of discrete targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madge, Jim; Miller, Mark A.

    2015-07-01

    Both biological and artificial self-assembly processes can take place by a range of different schemes, from the successive addition of identical building blocks to hierarchical sequences of intermediates, all the way to the fully addressable limit in which each component is unique. In this paper, we introduce an idealized model of cubic particles with patterned faces that allows self-assembly strategies to be compared and tested. We consider a simple octameric target, starting with the minimal requirements for successful self-assembly and comparing the benefits and limitations of more sophisticated hierarchical and addressable schemes. Simulations are performed using a hybrid dynamical Monte Carlo protocol that allows self-assembling clusters to rearrange internally while still providing Stokes-Einstein-like diffusion of aggregates of different sizes. Our simulations explicitly capture the thermodynamic, dynamic, and steric challenges typically faced by self-assembly processes, including competition between multiple partially completed structures. Self-assembly pathways are extracted from the simulation trajectories by a fully extendable scheme for identifying structural fragments, which are then assembled into history diagrams for successfully completed target structures. For the simple target, a one-component assembly scheme is most efficient and robust overall, but hierarchical and addressable strategies can have an advantage under some conditions if high yield is a priority.

  14. Self-assembly via microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Snchez, Samuel

    2015-12-01

    The self-assembly of amphiphilic building blocks has attracted extensive interest in myriad fields in recent years, due to their great potential in the nanoscale design of functional hybrid materials. Microfluidic techniques provide an intriguing method to control kinetic aspects of the self-assembly of molecular amphiphiles by the facile adjustment of the hydrodynamics of the fluids. Up to now, there have been several reports about one-step direct self-assembly of different building blocks with versatile and multi-shape products without templates, which demonstrated the advantages of microfluidics. These assemblies with different morphologies have great applications in various areas such as cancer therapy, micromotor fabrication, and controlled drug delivery. PMID:26486277

  15. Onset of self-assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Chitanvis, S.M.

    1998-02-01

    We have formulated a theory of self-assembly based on the notion of local gauge invariance at the mesoscale. Local gauge invariance at the mesoscale generates the required long-range entropic forces responsible for self-assembly in binary systems. Our theory was applied to study the onset of mesostructure formation above a critical temperature in estane, a diblock copolymer. We used diagrammatic methods to transcend the Gaussian approximation and obtain a correlation length {xi}{approximately}(c{minus}c{sup {asterisk}}){sup {minus}{gamma}}, where c{sup {asterisk}} is the minimum concentration below which self-assembly is impossible, c is the current concentration, and {gamma} was found numerically to be fairly close to 2/3. The renormalized diffusion constant vanishes as the critical concentration is approached, indicating the occurrence of critical slowing down, while the correlation function remains finite at the transition point. {copyright} {ital 1998} {ital The American Physical Society}

  16. Onset of self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chitanvis, Shirish M.

    1998-02-01

    We have formulated a theory of self-assembly based on the notion of local gauge invariance at the mesoscale. Local gauge invariance at the mesoscale generates the required long-range entropic forces responsible for self-assembly in binary systems. Our theory was applied to study the onset of mesostructure formation above a critical temperature in estane, a diblock copolymer. We used diagrammatic methods to transcend the Gaussian approximation and obtain a correlation length ?~(c-c*)-?, where c* is the minimum concentration below which self-assembly is impossible, c is the current concentration, and ? was found numerically to be fairly close to 2/3. The renormalized diffusion constant vanishes as the critical concentration is approached, indicating the occurrence of critical slowing down, while the correlation function remains finite at the transition point.

  17. Self-assembly via microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    The self-assembly of amphiphilic building blocks has attracted extensive interest in myriad fields in recent years, due to their great potential in the nanoscale design of functional hybrid materials. Microfluidic techniques provide an intriguing method to control kinetic aspects of the self-assembly of molecular amphiphiles by the facile adjustment of the hydrodynamics of the fluids. Up to now, there have been several reports about one-step direct self-assembly of different building blocks with versatile and multi-shape products without templates, which demonstrated the advantages of microfluidics. These assemblies with different morphologies have great applications in various areas such as cancer therapy, micromotor fabrication, and controlled drug delivery. PMID:26486277

  18. Light-harvesting organic photoinitiators of polymerization.

    PubMed

    Laleve, Jacques; Tehfe, Mohamad-Ali; Dumur, Frdric; Gigmes, Didier; Graff, Bernadette; Morlet-Savary, Fabrice; Fouassier, Jean-Pierre

    2013-02-12

    Two new photoinitiators with unprecedented light absorption properties are proposed on the basis of a suitable truxene skeleton where several UV photoinitiators PI units such as benzophenone and thioxanthone are introduced at the periphery and whose molecular orbitals MO can be coupled with those of the PI units: a red-shifted absorption and a strong increase of the molecular extinction coefficients (by a ? 20-1000 fold factor) are found. These compounds are highly efficient light-harvesting photoinitiators. The scope and practicality of these photoinitiators of polymerization can be dramatically expanded, that is, both radical and cationic polymerization processes are accessible upon very soft irradiation conditions (halogen lamp, LED?) thanks to the unique light absorption properties of the new proposed structures. PMID:23203563

  19. Design principles of photosynthetic light-harvesting.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Graham R; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S; Amarnath, Kapil; Zaks, Julia

    2012-01-01

    Photosynthetic organisms are capable of harvesting solar energy with near unity quantum efficiency. Even more impressively, this efficiency can be regulated in response to the demands of photosynthetic reactions and the fluctuating light-levels of natural environments. We discuss the distinctive design principles through which photosynthetic light-harvesting functions. These emergent properties of photosynthesis appear both within individual pigment-protein complexes and in how these complexes integrate to produce a functional, regulated apparatus that drives downstream photochemistry. One important property is how the strong interactions and resultant quantum coherence, produced by the dense packing of photosynthetic pigments, provide a tool to optimize for ultrafast, directed energy transfer. We also describe how excess energy is quenched to prevent photodamage under high-light conditions, which we investigate through theory and experiment. We conclude with comments on the potential of using these features to improve solar energy devices. PMID:22470965

  20. Self-assembling amphiphilic peptides†

    PubMed Central

    Dehsorkhi, Ashkan; Castelletto, Valeria; Hamley, Ian W

    2014-01-01

    The self-assembly of several classes of amphiphilic peptides is reviewed, and selected applications are discussed. We discuss recent work on the self-assembly of lipopeptides, surfactant-like peptides and amyloid peptides derived from the amyloid-β peptide. The influence of environmental variables such as pH and temperature on aggregate nanostructure is discussed. Enzyme-induced remodelling due to peptide cleavage and nanostructure control through photocleavage or photo-cross-linking are also considered. Lastly, selected applications of amphiphilic peptides in biomedicine and materials science are outlined. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Peptide Science published by European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:24729276

  1. Light-Harvesting Nanoparticle Core-Shell Clusters with Controllable Optical Output.

    PubMed

    Sun, Dazhi; Tian, Ye; Zhang, Yugang; Xu, Zhihua; Sfeir, Matthew Y; Cotlet, Mircea; Gang, Oleg

    2015-06-23

    We used DNA self-assembly methods to fabricate a series of core-shell gold nanoparticle-DNA-colloidal quantum dot (AuNP-DNA-Qdot) nanoclusters with satellite-like architecture to modulate optical (photoluminescence) response. By varying the intercomponent distance through the DNA linker length designs, we demonstrate precise tuning of the plasmon-exciton interaction and the optical behavior of the nanoclusters from regimes characterized by photoluminescence quenching to photoluminescence enhancement. The combination of detailed X-ray scattering probing with photoluminescence intensity and lifetime studies revealed the relation between the cluster structure and its optical output. Compared to conventional light-harvesting systems like conjugated polymers and multichromophoric dendrimers, the proposed nanoclusters bring enhanced flexibility in controlling the optical behavior toward a desired application, and they can be regarded as controllable optical switches via the optically pumped color. PMID:25933097

  2. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-01

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  3. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus

    SciTech Connect

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-07

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  4. Development of Scaffolds for Light Harvesting and Photocatalysis from the Coat Protein of Tobacco Mosaic Virus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dedeo, Michel Toussaint

    The utility of a previously developed TMV-based light harvesting system has been dramatically expanded through the introduction of reactive handles for the site-specific modification of the interior and exterior surfaces. Further experiments to reengineer the coat protein have produced structures with unique, unexpected, and useful assembly properties that complement the newly available surface modifications. Energy transfer from chromophores in the RNA channel of self-assembled TMV structures to the exterior was made possible by conjugation of acceptor dyes and porphyrins to the N-terminus. By repositioning the N-terminus to the pore through circular permutation, this process was repeated to create structures that mimic the light harvesting 1 complex of photosynthetic bacteria. To study and improve upon natural photosynthesis, closely packed chromophore arrays and gold nanoparticles were tethered to the pore of stabilized TMV disks through introduction of a uniquely reactive lysine. Finally, a dimeric TMV coat protein was produced to control the distribution and arrangement of synthetic groups with synergistic activity.

  5. Interference lithographic nanopatterning of plant and bacterial light-harvesting complexes on gold substrates

    PubMed Central

    Patole, Samson; Vasilev, Cvetelin; El-Zubir, Osama; Wang, Lin; Johnson, Matthew P.; Cadby, Ashley J.; Leggett, Graham J.; Hunter, C. Neil

    2015-01-01

    We describe a facile approach for nanopatterning of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes over macroscopic areas, and use optical spectroscopy to demonstrate retention of native properties by both site-specifically and non-specifically attached photosynthetic membrane proteins. A Lloyd's mirror dual-beam interferometer was used to expose self-assembled monolayers of amine-terminated alkylthiolates on gold to laser irradiation. Following exposure, photo-oxidized adsorbates were replaced by oligo(ethylene glycol) terminated thiols, and the remaining intact amine-functionalized regions were used for attachment of the major light-harvesting chlorophyllprotein complex from plants, LHCII. These amine patterns could be derivatized with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), so that polyhistidine-tagged bacteriochlorophyllprotein complexes from phototrophic bacteria could be attached with a defined surface orientation. By varying parameters such as the angle between the interfering beams and the laser irradiation dose, it was possible to vary the period and widths of NTA and amine-functionalized lines on the surfaces; periods varied from 1200 to 240 nm and linewidths as small as 60 nm (?/4) were achieved. This level of control over the surface chemistry was reflected in the surface topology of the protein nanostructures imaged by atomic force microscopy; fluorescence imaging and spectral measurements demonstrated that the surface-attached proteins had retained their native functionality. PMID:26464784

  6. Self-assembled magnetocapillary swimmers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, Maxime; Lumay, Geoffroy; Weyer, Floriane; Obara, Noriko; Vandewalle, Nicolas

    2013-11-01

    Capillary driven self-assembly consists of suspending small objects at a water-air interface. Due to the effects of wetting, gravity and surface tension, the interface is slightly deformed, inducing a net force between the particles. In the experiments we present, we consider the presence of a vertical magnetic field acting on soft-ferromagnetic particles. Dipole-dipole repulsion competes with capillary attraction such that 2d ordered structures are self-assembling. By adding a secondary horizontal and oscillating magnetic field, periodic deformations of the assembly are induced. Pulsating particle arrangements start to swim, either translating or rotating. The physical mechanisms and geometrical ingredients behind this cooperative locomotion are identified. Furthermore, strategies to control the swimming dynamics are proposed.

  7. Multifunctional self-assembled monolayers

    SciTech Connect

    Zawodzinski, T.; Bar, G.; Rubin, S.; Uribe, F.; Ferrais, J.

    1996-06-01

    This is the final report of at three year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The specific goals of this research project were threefold: to develop multifunctional self-assembled monolayers, to understand the role of monolayer structure on the functioning of such systems, and to apply this knowledge to the development of electrochemical enzyme sensors. An array of molecules that can be used to attach electrochemically active biomolecules to gold surfaces has been synthesized. Several members of a class of electroactive compounds have been characterized and the factors controlling surface modification are beginning to be characterized. Enzymes have been attached to self-assembled molecules arranged on the gold surface, a critical step toward the ultimate goal of this project. Several alternative enzyme attachment strategies to achieve robust enzyme- modified surfaces have been explored. Several means of juxtaposing enzymes and mediators, electroactive compounds through which the enzyme can exchange electrons with the electrode surface, have also been investigated. Finally, the development of sensitive biosensors based on films loaded with nanoscale-supported gold particles that have surface modified with the self-assembled enzyme and mediator have been explored.

  8. Polymer light harvesting composites for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Sam-Shajing; Wang, Dan

    2015-09-01

    Polymer based optoelectronic composites and thin film devices exhibit great potential in space applications due to their lightweight, flexible shape, high photon absorption coefficients, and robust radiation tolerance in space environment. Polymer/dye composites appear promising for optoelectronics applications due to potential enhancements in both light harvesting and charge separation. In this study, the optoelectronic properties of a series of molecular dyes paired with a conjugated polymer Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) were investigated. Specifically, the solution PL quenching coefficients (Ksv) of dye/polymer follows a descending order from dyes of Chloro(protoporphyrinato)iron(III) (Hemin), Protoporphyrin, to meso-Tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphine (TCPP). In optoelectronic devices made of the P3HT/dye/PCBM composites, the short circuit current densities Jsc as well as the overall power conversion efficiencies (PCE) also follow a descending order from Hemin, Protoporphyrin, to TCPP, despite Hemin exhibits the intermediate polymer/dye LUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital) offset and lowest absorption coefficient as compared to the other two dyes, i.e., the cell optoelectronic efficiency did not follow the LUMO offsets which are the key driving forces for the photo induced charge separations. This study reveals that too large LUMO offset or electron transfer driving force may result in smaller PL quenching and optoelectronic conversion efficiency, this could be another experimental evidence for the Marcus electron transfer model, particularly for the Marcus `inverted region'. It appears an optimum electron transfer driving force or strong PL quenching appears more critical than absorption coefficient for optoelectronic conversion devices.

  9. Spectroscopic Investigations of the Photophysics of Cryptophyte Light-Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinshaw, Rayomond

    The biological significance of photosynthesis is indisputable as it is necessary for nearly all life on earth. Photosynthesis provides chemical energy for plants, algae, and bacteria, while heterotrophic organisms rely on these species as their ultimate food source. The initial step in photosynthesis requires the absorption of sunlight to create electronic excitations. Light-harvesting proteins play the functional role of capturing solar radiation and transferring the resulting excitation to the reaction centers where it is used to carry out the chemical reactions of photosynthesis. Despite the wide variety of light-harvesting protein structures and arrangements, most light-harvesting proteins are able to utilize the captured solar energy for charge separation with near perfect quantum efficiency.1 This thesis will focus on understanding the energy transfer dynamics and photophysics of a specific subset of light-harvesting antennae known as phycobiliproteins. These proteins are extracted from cryptophyte algae and are investigated using steady-state and ultrafast spectroscopic techniques.

  10. Synergistic Two-Photon Absorption Enhancement in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kuo-Mei; Chen, Yu-Wei; Gao, Ting-Fong

    2012-06-01

    The grand scale fixation of solar energies into chemical substances by photosynthetic reactions of light-harvesting organisms provides Earth's other life forms a thriving environment. Scientific explorations in the past decades have unraveled the fundamental photophysical and photochemical processes in photosynthesis. Higher plants, green algae, and light-harvesting bacteria utilize organized pigment-protein complexes to harvest solar power efficiently and the resultant electronic excitations are funneled into a reaction center, where the first charge separation process takes place. Here we show experimental evidences that green algae (Chlorella vulgaris) in vivo display a synergistic two-photon absorption enhancement in their photosynthetic light harvesting. Their absorption coefficients at various wavelengths display dramatic dependence on the photon flux. This newly found phenomenon is attributed to a coherence-electronic-energy-transfer-mediated (CEETRAM) photon absorption process of light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of green algae. Under the ambient light level, algae and higher plants can utilize this quantum mechanical mechanism to create two entangled electronic excitations adjacently in their light-harvesting networks. Concerted multiple electron transfer reactions in the reaction centers and oxygen evolving complexes can be implemented efficiently by the coherent motion of two entangled excitons from antennae to the charge separation reaction sites. To fabricate nanostructured, synthetic light-harvesting apparatus, the paramount role of the CEETRAM photon absorption mechanism should be seriously considered in the strategic guidelines.

  11. Self-assembling magnetic "snakes"

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Nickel particles float peacefully in a liquid medium until a giant snake seems to swim by and snatch several particles up, adding to its own mass. The self-assembled "snakes" act like biological systems, but they are not alive and are driven by a magnetic field. The research may someday offer some insight into the organization of life itself. Read more at Wired: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/snakes/ Research and video by Alex Snezhko and Igor Aronson, Argonne National Laboratory.

  12. Supramolecular coordination polymer formed from artificial light-harvesting dendrimer.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hosoowi; Jeong, Young-Hwan; Kim, Joo-Ho; Kim, Inhye; Lee, Eunji; Jang, Woo-Dong

    2015-09-30

    We report the formation of supramolecular coordination polymers formed from multiporphyrin dendrimers (PZnPM; M = FB or Cu), composed of the focal freebase porphyrin (PFB) or cupper porphyrin (PCu) with eight zinc porphyrin (PZn) wings, and multipyridyl porphyrins (PyPM; M = FB or Cu), PFB or PCu with eight pyridyl groups, through multiple axial coordination interactions of pyridyl groups to PZns. UV-vis absorption spectra were recorded upon titration of PyPFB to PZnPFB. Differential spectra, obtained by subtracting the absorption of PZnPFB without guest addition as well as the absorption of PyPFB, exhibited clear isosbestic points with saturation binding at 1 equiv addition of PyPFB to PZnPFB. Job's plot analysis also indicated 1:1 stoichiometry for the saturation binding. The apparent association constant between PZnPFB and PyPFB (2.91 10(6) M(-1)), estimated by isothermal titration calorimetry, was high enough for fibrous assemblies to form at micromolar concentrations. The formation of a fibrous assembly from PZnPFB and PyPFB was visualized by atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When a 1:1 mixture solution of PZnPFB and PyPFB (20 ?M) in toluene was cast onto mica, fibrous assemblies with regular height (ca. 2 nm) were observed. TEM images obtained from 1:1 mixture solution of PZnPFB and PyPFB (0.1 wt %) in toluene clearly showed the formation of nanofibers with a regular diameter of ca. 6 nm. Fluorescence emission measurement of PZnPM indicated efficient intramolecular energy transfer from PZn to the focal PFB or PCu. By the formation of supramolecular coordination polymers, the intramolecular energy transfer changed to intermolecular energy transfer from PZnPM to PyPM. When the nonfluorescent PyPCu was titrated to fluorescent PZnPFB, fluorescence emission from the focal PFB was gradually decreased. By the titration of fluorescent PyPFB to nonfluorescent PZnPCu, fluorescence emission from PFB in PyPFB was gradually increased due to the efficient energy transfer from PZn wings in PZnPCu to PyPFB. PMID:26349620

  13. Chemical reactions directed Peptide self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Rasale, Dnyaneshwar B; Das, Apurba K

    2015-01-01

    Fabrication of self-assembled nanostructures is one of the important aspects in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The study of self-assembled soft materials remains an area of interest due to their potential applications in biomedicine. The versatile properties of soft materials can be tuned using a bottom up approach of small molecules. Peptide based self-assembly has significant impact in biology because of its unique features such as biocompatibility, straight peptide chain and the presence of different side chain functionality. These unique features explore peptides in various self-assembly process. In this review, we briefly introduce chemical reaction-mediated peptide self-assembly. Herein, we have emphasised enzymes, native chemical ligation and photochemical reactions in the exploration of peptide self-assembly. PMID:25984603

  14. Chemical Reactions Directed Peptide Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Rasale, Dnyaneshwar B.; Das, Apurba K.

    2015-01-01

    Fabrication of self-assembled nanostructures is one of the important aspects in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The study of self-assembled soft materials remains an area of interest due to their potential applications in biomedicine. The versatile properties of soft materials can be tuned using a bottom up approach of small molecules. Peptide based self-assembly has significant impact in biology because of its unique features such as biocompatibility, straight peptide chain and the presence of different side chain functionality. These unique features explore peptides in various self-assembly process. In this review, we briefly introduce chemical reaction-mediated peptide self-assembly. Herein, we have emphasised enzymes, native chemical ligation and photochemical reactions in the exploration of peptide self-assembly. PMID:25984603

  15. Self-Assembly: How Nature Builds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, M. Gail; Falvo, Michael R.; Broadwell, Bethany; Dotger, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    Self-assembly or spontaneous assembly is a process in which materials build themselves without assistance. This process plays a central role in the construction of biological structures and materials such as cells, viruses, and bone, and also in abiotic processes like phase transitions and crystal formation. The principles of self-assembly help…

  16. Self-assembled nanomaterials for photoacoustic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lei; Yang, Pei-Pei; Zhao, Xiao-Xiao; Wang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, extensive endeavors have been paid to construct functional self-assembled nanomaterials for various applications such as catalysis, separation, energy and biomedicines. To date, different strategies have been developed for preparing nanomaterials with diversified structures and functionalities via fine tuning of self-assembled building blocks. In terms of biomedical applications, bioimaging technologies are urgently calling for high-efficient probes/contrast agents for high-performance bioimaging. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging whole-body imaging modality offering high spatial resolution, deep penetration and high contrast in vivo. The self-assembled nanomaterials show high stability in vivo, specific tolerance to sterilization and prolonged half-life stability and desirable targeting properties, which is a kind of promising PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. Herein, we focus on summarizing recent advances in smart self-assembled nanomaterials with NIR absorption as PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. According to the preparation strategy of the contrast agents, the self-assembled nanomaterials are categorized into two groups, i.e., the ex situ and in situ self-assembled nanomaterials. The driving forces, assembly modes and regulation of PA properties of self-assembled nanomaterials and their applications for long-term imaging, enzyme activity detection and aggregation-induced retention (AIR) effect for diagnosis and therapy are emphasized. Finally, we conclude with an outlook towards future developments of self-assembled nanomaterials for PA imaging.

  17. Self-assembled nanomaterials for photoacoustic imaging.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Yang, Pei-Pei; Zhao, Xiao-Xiao; Wang, Hao

    2016-01-28

    In recent years, extensive endeavors have been paid to construct functional self-assembled nanomaterials for various applications such as catalysis, separation, energy and biomedicines. To date, different strategies have been developed for preparing nanomaterials with diversified structures and functionalities via fine tuning of self-assembled building blocks. In terms of biomedical applications, bioimaging technologies are urgently calling for high-efficient probes/contrast agents for high-performance bioimaging. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging whole-body imaging modality offering high spatial resolution, deep penetration and high contrast in vivo. The self-assembled nanomaterials show high stability in vivo, specific tolerance to sterilization and prolonged half-life stability and desirable targeting properties, which is a kind of promising PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. Herein, we focus on summarizing recent advances in smart self-assembled nanomaterials with NIR absorption as PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. According to the preparation strategy of the contrast agents, the self-assembled nanomaterials are categorized into two groups, i.e., the ex situ and in situ self-assembled nanomaterials. The driving forces, assembly modes and regulation of PA properties of self-assembled nanomaterials and their applications for long-term imaging, enzyme activity detection and aggregation-induced retention (AIR) effect for diagnosis and therapy are emphasized. Finally, we conclude with an outlook towards future developments of self-assembled nanomaterials for PA imaging. PMID:26757620

  18. Self-assembly of membrane junctions.

    PubMed Central

    Bruinsma, R; Goulian, M; Pincus, P

    1994-01-01

    We present a mechanism for the aggregation of mobile intermembrane junctions, such as the connexon dyad of gap junctions. The model demonstrates that intermembrane repulsion provides a powerful self-assembly pressure. If the membrane repulsion is strong enough to prevent membrane adhesion, then the self-assembly pressure is of effective infinite range. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:7948688

  19. Self-Assembly: How Nature Builds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, M. Gail; Falvo, Michael R.; Broadwell, Bethany; Dotger, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    Self-assembly or spontaneous assembly is a process in which materials build themselves without assistance. This process plays a central role in the construction of biological structures and materials such as cells, viruses, and bone, and also in abiotic processes like phase transitions and crystal formation. The principles of self-assembly help

  20. Supramolecular pathways: Accessible self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunnlaugsson, Thorfinnur

    2016-01-01

    Supramolecular processes are attractive for the generation of functional materials, but managing multiple, competing self-assembly pathways has remained challenging. Now, the self-assembly of a platinum compound into three different aggregates has been elucidated, visualized in real time, and controlled.

  1. Aluminum Nanoarrays for Plasmon-Enhanced Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Lee, Minah; Kim, Jong Uk; Lee, Ki Joong; Ahn, SooHoon; Shin, Yong-Beom; Shin, Jonghwa; Park, Chan Beum

    2015-06-23

    The practical limits of coinage-metal-based plasmonic materials demand sustainable, abundant alternatives with a wide plasmonic range of the solar energy spectrum. Aluminum (Al) is an emerging alternative, but its instability in aqueous environments critically limits its applicability to various light-harvesting systems. Here, we report a design strategy to achieve a robust platform for plasmon-enhanced light harvesting using Al nanostructures. The incorporation of mussel-inspired polydopamine nanolayers in the Al nanoarrays allowed for the reliable use of Al plasmonic resonances in a highly corrosive photocatalytic redox solution and provided nanoscale arrangement of organic photosensitizers on Al surfaces. The Al-photosensitizer core-shell assemblies exhibited plasmon-enhanced light absorption, which resulted in a 300% efficiency increase in photo-to-chemical conversion. Our strategy enables stable and advanced use of aluminum for plasmonic light harvesting. PMID:26046384

  2. Peptide synthesis and self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Maude, S; Tai, L R; Davies, R P W; Liu, B; Harris, S A; Kocienski, P J; Aggeli, A

    2012-01-01

    Peptides and proteins are the most diverse building blocks in biomolecular self-assembly in terms of chemistry, nanostructure formation and functionality. Self-assembly is an intrinsic property of peptides. In this chapter, we attempt to address the following issues: How can we synthesize a self-assembling peptide? What are the fundamental physical and chemical principles that underpin peptide self-assembly? How can we learn to finely control peptide self-assembly? The merits of answering these questions are inspiring both for biology and medicine in terms of new opportunities for understanding, preventing and curing of diseases, and for nanotechnology in terms of new prescribed routes to achieving peptide-based nanostructures with a range of properties appropriate for specific applications. PMID:22025061

  3. Principles and implementations of dissipative (dynamic) self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Fialkowski, Marcin; Bishop, Kyle J M; Klajn, Rafal; Smoukov, Stoyan K; Campbell, Christopher J; Grzybowski, Bartosz A

    2006-02-16

    Dynamic self-assembly (DySA) processes occurring outside of thermodynamic equilibrium underlie many forms of adaptive and intelligent behaviors in natural systems. Relatively little, however, is known about the principles that govern DySA and the ways in which it can be extended to artificial ensembles. This article discusses recent advances in both the theory and the practice of nonequilibrium self-assembly. It is argued that a union of ideas from thermodynamics and dynamic systems' theory can provide a general description of DySA. In parallel, heuristic design rules can be used to construct DySA systems of increasing complexities based on a variety of suitable interactions/potentials on length scales from nanoscopic to macroscopic. Applications of these rules to magnetohydrodynamic DySA are also discussed. PMID:16471845

  4. Dynamics of Membrane Nanotubulation and DNA Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Roopa, T.; Kumar, N.; Bhattacharya, S.; Shivashankar, G. V.

    2004-01-01

    A localized point-like force applied perpendicular to a vesicular membrane layer, using an optical tweezer, leads to membrane nanotubulation beyond a threshold force. Below the threshold, the force-extension curve shows an elastic response with a fine structure (serrations). Above the threshold the tubulation process exhibits a new reversible flow phase for the multilamellar membrane, which responds viscoelastically. Furthermore, with an oscillatory force applied during tubulation, broad but well-resolved resonances occur in the flow phase, presumably matching the time scales associated with the vesicle-nanotubule coupled system. These nanotubules, anchored to the optical tweezer also provide, for the first time, a direct probe of the real-time dynamics of DNA self-assembly on membranes. Our studies are a step in the direction of analyzing the dynamics of membrane self-assembly and artificial nanofluidic membrane networks. PMID:15298903

  5. Two-dimensional patterning of bacterial light-harvesting 2 complexes on lipid-modified gold surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yajima, Shunsuke; Furukawa, Rei A.; Nagata, Morio; Sakai, Shunsuke; Kondo, Masaharu; Iida, Kouji; Dewa, Takehisa; Nango, Mamoru

    2012-06-01

    In a photosynthetic membrane, nano-scale patterns of light-harvesting (LH) pigment-protein complexes play an essential role in capturing photons and ensuring efficient excitation energy transfer. LH complexes 1 and 2 have drawn attention as building blocks of a nano-scale photoelectric device. For obtaining a device with efficiency comparable to that of the natural photosynthesis, a method has to be established for forming a two-dimensional assembly of LH complexes around a metal electrode. In this study, LH2 complexes isolated from Rb. sphaeroides were immobilized on a patterned gold surface. Quenching of photo-excitation energy by gold was prevented through the placement of a self-assembled phospholipid monolayer between the LH2 complexes and the gold surface.

  6. Theoretical Study of the Initial Stages of Self-Assembly of a Carboxysome’s Facet

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mahalik, J. P.; Brown, Kirsten A.; Cheng, Xiaolin; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel

    2016-02-24

    Bacterial microcompartments, BMCs, are organelles that exist within wide variety of bacteria and act as nanofactories. Among the different types of known BMCs, the carboxysome has been studied the most. The carboxysome plays an important role in the light-independent part of the photosynthesis process, where its icosahedral-like proteinaceous shell acts as a membrane that controls the transport of metabolites. Although a structural model exists for the carboxysome shell, it remains largely unknown how the shell proteins self-assemble. Understanding the self-assembly process can provide insights into how the shell affects the carboxysome s function and how it can be modified tomore » create new functionalities, such as artificial nanoreactors and artificial protein membranes. Here, we explain a theoretical framework that employs Monte Carlo simulations with a coarse-grain potential that reproduces well the atomistic potential of mean force; employing this framework, we are able to capture the initial stages of the 2D self-assembly of CcmK2 hexamers, a major protein-shell component of the carboxysome's facet. The simulations reveal that CcmK2 hexamers self-assemble into clusters that resemble what was seen experimentally in 2D layers. Further analysis of the simulation results suggests that the 2D self-assembly of carboxysome s facets is driven by a nucleation growth process, which in turn could play an important role in the hierarchical self- assembly of BMC shells in general.« less

  7. Light harvesting: Strike while the iron is cold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galoppini, Elena

    2015-11-01

    For many years, chemists have tried and failed to find efficient light-harvesting molecules based on Earth-abundant, environmentally friendly iron. Now, an iron complex has been developed with photoluminescent properties that are tuned to efficiently convert light to electrons.

  8. Light-harvesting photocatalysis for water oxidation using mesoporous organosilica.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Masataka; Goto, Yasutomo; Ohsuna, Tetsu; Tani, Takao; Inagaki, Shinji

    2014-07-14

    An organic-based photocatalysis system for water oxidation, with visible-light harvesting antennae, was constructed using periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO). PMO containing acridone groups in the framework (Acd-PMO), a visible-light harvesting antenna, was supported with [Ru(II)(bpy)3(2+)] complex (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridyl) coupled with iridium oxide (IrO(x)) particles in the mesochannels as photosensitizer and catalyst, respectively. Acd-PMO absorbed visible light and funneled the light energy into the Ru complex in the mesochannels through excitation energy transfer. The excited state of Ru complex is oxidatively quenched by a sacrificial oxidant (Na2S2O8) to form Ru(3+) species. The Ru(3+) species extracts an electron from IrO(x) to oxidize water for oxygen production. The reaction quantum yield was 0.34?%, which was improved to 0.68 or 1.2?% by the modifications of PMO. A unique sequence of reactions mimicking natural photosystem?II, 1)?light-harvesting, 2)?charge separation, and 3)?oxygen generation, were realized for the first time by using the light-harvesting PMO. PMID:24890840

  9. Insights from Placing Photosynthetic Light Harvesting into Context.

    PubMed

    Demmig-Adams, Barbara; Stewart, Jared J; Burch, Tyson A; Adams, William W

    2014-08-21

    Solar-energy conversion through natural photosynthesis forms the base of virtually all food chains on Earth and provides fiber, materials, and fuels, as well as inspiration for the design of biomimetic energy-conversion systems. We summarize well-known as well as recently discovered feedback loops between natural light-harvesting systems and whole-organism function in natural settings. We propose that the low effective quantum yield of natural light-harvesting systems in high light is caused by downstream limitations rather than unavoidable intrinsic vulnerabilities. We evaluate potential avenues, and their costs and benefits, for increasing the maximal rate and photon yield of photosynthesis in high light in plants and photosynthetic microbes. By summarizing mechanisms observable only in complex systems (whole plants, algae, or, in some cases, intact leaves), we aim to stimulate future research efforts on reciprocal feedback loops between light harvesting and downstream processes in whole organisms and to provide additional arguments for the significance of research on photosynthetic light harvesting. PMID:26278094

  10. Self-Assembly of Biomolecular Soft Matter

    PubMed Central

    Zha, R. Helen; Palmer, Liam C.; Cui, Honggang; Bitton, Ronit

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly programmed by molecular structure and guided dynamically by energy dissipation is a ubiquitous phenomenon in biological systems that build functional structures from the nanoscale to macroscopic dimensions. This paper describes examples of one-dimensional self-assembly of peptide amphiphiles and the consequent biological functions that emerge in these systems. We also discuss here hierarchical self-assembly of supramolecular peptide nanostructures and polysaccharides, and some new results are reported on supramolecular crystals formed by highly charged peptide amphiphiles. Reflecting on presentations at this Faraday Discussion, the paper ends with a discussion of some of the future opportunities and challenges of the field. PMID:24611266

  11. Self-assembled Materials for Catalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Kake; Wang, Donghai; Liu, Jun

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to highlight developments on self-assembled nanostructured materials (i.e. mesoporous and nanoparticle based materials) and their catalytic applications. Since there are some reviews available for metal-based nanoparticles as catalysts, this review will mainly focus on self-assembled oxide-based catalytic materials. The content includes: (1) Design and synthetic strategy toward self-assembled mesoporous catalysts; (2) Polyoxometalates (POMs) based nanocatalysts; (3) Dendrimers based nanocatalysts; (4) Shaped nanomaterials and catalytic applications. We show that self-assemblies of molecules, crystalline seeds, nano-building blocks into organized mesoscopic structures paved new roads for tailoring porosities of heterogeneous catalysts and catalytic active sites.

  12. Self-assembling materials for therapeutic delivery?

    PubMed Central

    Branco, Monica C.; Schneider, Joel P.

    2009-01-01

    A growing number of medications must be administered through parenteral delivery, i.e., intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous injection, to ensure effectiveness of the therapeutic. For some therapeutics, the use of delivery vehicles in conjunction with this delivery mechanism can improve drug efficacy and patient compliance. Macromolecular self-assembly has been exploited recently to engineer materials for the encapsulation and controlled delivery of therapeutics. Self-assembled materials offer the advantages of conventional crosslinked materials normally used for release, but also provide the ability to tailor specific bulk material properties, such as release profiles, at the molecular level via monomer design. As a result, the design of materials from the bottom up approach has generated a variety of supramolecular devices for biomedical applications. This review provides an overview of self-assembling molecules, their resultant structures, and their use in therapeutic delivery. It highlights the current progress in the design of polymer- and peptide-based self-assembled materials. PMID:19010748

  13. Biomedical Applications of Self-Assembling Peptides.

    PubMed

    Rad-Malekshahi, Mazda; Lempsink, Ludwijn; Amidi, Maryam; Hennink, Wim E; Mastrobattista, Enrico

    2016-01-20

    Self-assembling peptides have gained increasing attention as versatile molecules to generate diverse supramolecular structures with tunable functionality. Because of the possibility to integrate a wide range of functional domains into self-assembling peptides including cell attachment sequences, signaling domains, vaccine epitopes, and even therapeutic moieties, complex nanostructures can be obtained with a wide range of applications in the biomedical field. The first part of this Review provides a concise overview of how peptide primary and secondary structure dictate the way such self-assembling peptides organize into higher ordered, supramolecular structures. Next, an overview of the literature will be given on recent studies on peptide self-assembly for application in drug delivery, vaccination, and tissue engineering. PMID:26473310

  14. Adaptive soft molecular self-assemblies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Andong; Shi, Wenyue; Huang, Jianbin; Yan, Yun

    2015-12-23

    Adaptive molecular self-assemblies provide possibility of constructing smart and functional materials in a non-covalent bottom-up manner. Exploiting the intrinsic properties of responsiveness of non-covalent interactions, a great number of fancy self-assemblies have been achieved. In this review, we try to highlight the recent advances in this field. The following contents are focused: (1) environmental adaptiveness, including smart self-assemblies adaptive to pH, temperature, pressure, and moisture; (2) special chemical adaptiveness, including nanostructures adaptive to important chemicals, such as enzymes, CO2, metal ions, redox agents, explosives, biomolecules; (3) field adaptiveness, including self-assembled materials that are capable of adapting to external fields such as magnetic field, electric field, light irradiation, and shear forces. PMID:26509717

  15. Directed Self-Assembly of Nanodispersions

    SciTech Connect

    Furst, Eric M

    2013-11-15

    Directed self-assembly promises to be the technologically and economically optimal approach to industrial-scale nanotechnology, and will enable the realization of inexpensive, reproducible and active nanostructured materials with tailored photonic, transport and mechanical properties. These new nanomaterials will play a critical role in meeting the 21st century grand challenges of the US, including energy diversity and sustainability, national security and economic competitiveness. The goal of this work was to develop and fundamentally validate methods of directed selfassembly of nanomaterials and nanodispersion processing. The specific aims were: 1. Nanocolloid self-assembly and interactions in AC electric fields. In an effort to reduce the particle sizes used in AC electric field self-assembly to lengthscales, we propose detailed characterizations of field-driven structures and studies of the fundamental underlying particle interactions. We will utilize microscopy and light scattering to assess order-disorder transitions and self-assembled structures under a variety of field and physicochemical conditions. Optical trapping will be used to measure particle interactions. These experiments will be synergetic with calculations of the particle polarizability, enabling us to both validate interactions and predict the order-disorder transition for nanocolloids. 2. Assembly of anisotropic nanocolloids. Particle shape has profound effects on structure and flow behavior of dispersions, and greatly complicates their processing and self-assembly. The methods developed to study the self-assembled structures and underlying particle interactions for dispersions of isotropic nanocolloids will be extended to systems composed of anisotropic particles. This report reviews several key advances that have been made during this project, including, (1) advances in the measurement of particle polarization mechanisms underlying field-directed self-assembly, and (2) progress in the directed self-assembly of anisotropic nanoparticles and their unique physical properties.

  16. From Solvolysis to Self-Assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Stang, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    My sojourn from classical physical-organic chemistry and solvolysis to self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry, over the last forty years, is described. My contributions to unsaturated reactive intermediates, namely vinyl cations and unsaturated carbenes, along with my decade long involvement with polyvalent iodine chemistry, especially alkynyliodonium salts, as well as my more recent research with metal-ligand, coordination driven and directed self-assembly of finite supramolecular ensembles are discussed. PMID:19111062

  17. Silk Reconstitution Disrupts Fibroin Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Koebley, Sean R; Thorpe, Daniel; Pang, Pei; Chrisochoides, Panos; Greving, Imke; Vollrath, Fritz; Schniepp, Hannes C

    2015-09-14

    Using atomic force microscopy, we present the first molecular-scale comparison of two of the most important silk dopes, native (NSF) and reconstituted (RSF) silkworm fibroin. We found that both systems depended on shear to show self-assembly. Significant differences in the nature of self-assembly between NSF and RSF were shown. In the highest studied concentration of 1000 mg/L, NSF exhibited assembly into 20-30 nm-wide nanofibrils closely resembling the surface structures found in natural silk fibers. RSF, in contrast, showed no self-assembly whatsoever at the same concentration, which suggests that the reconstitution process significantly disrupts silk's inherent self-assembly capability. At lower concentrations, both RSF and NSF formed fibrils under shear, apparently denatured by the substrate. Using image analysis, we quantified the properties of these self-assembled fibrils as a function of concentration and found low-concentration fibrils of NSF to form larger continuous structures than those of RSF, further supporting NSF's superior self-assembly capabilities. PMID:26284914

  18. Electronic instabilities in self-assembled atom wires

    SciTech Connect

    Snijders, Paul C; Weitering, Harm H

    2010-01-01

    Low dimensional systems have fascinated physicists for a long time due to their unusual properties such as charge fractionalization, semionic statistics, and Luttinger liquid behavior among others. In nature, however, low dimensional systems often suffer from thermal fluctuations that can make these systems structurally unstable. Human beings, however, can trick nature by producing artificial structures which are not naturally produced. This Colloquium reviews the problem of self-assembled atomic wires on solid surfaces from an experimental and theoretical point of view. These materials represent a class of one-dimensional systems with very unusual properties that can open doors to the study of exotic physics that cannot be studied otherwise.

  19. Replication of Leaf Surface Structures for Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhongjia; Yang, Sai; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Meng; Cao, Wei

    2015-01-01

    As one of the most important hosts of natural light harvesting, foliage normally has complicated surface structures to capture solar radiances. Bio-mimicking leaf surface structures can provide novel designs of covers in photovoltaic systems. In this article, we reported on replicating leaf surface structures on poly-(methyl methacrylate) polymers to prompt harvesting efficiencies. Prepared via a double transfer process, the polymers were found to have high optical transparencies and transmission hazes, with both values exceeding 80% in some species. Benefiting from optical properties and wrinkled surfaces, the biomimetic polymers brought up to 17% gains to photovoltaic efficiencies. Through Monte-Carlo simulations of light transport, ultrahigh haze values and low reflections were attributed to lightwave guidance schemes lead by the nano- and micro-morphologies which are inherited from master leaves. Thus, leaf surface bio-mimicking can be considered as a strategic direction to design covers of light harvesting systems. PMID:26381702

  20. Replication of Leaf Surface Structures for Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhongjia; Yang, Sai; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Meng; Cao, Wei

    2015-01-01

    As one of the most important hosts of natural light harvesting, foliage normally has complicated surface structures to capture solar radiances. Bio-mimicking leaf surface structures can provide novel designs of covers in photovoltaic systems. In this article, we reported on replicating leaf surface structures on poly-(methyl methacrylate) polymers to prompt harvesting efficiencies. Prepared via a double transfer process, the polymers were found to have high optical transparencies and transmission hazes, with both values exceeding 80% in some species. Benefiting from optical properties and wrinkled surfaces, the biomimetic polymers brought up to 17% gains to photovoltaic efficiencies. Through Monte-Carlo simulations of light transport, ultrahigh haze values and low reflections were attributed to lightwave guidance schemes lead by the nano- and micro-morphologies which are inherited from master leaves. Thus, leaf surface bio-mimicking can be considered as a strategic direction to design covers of light harvesting systems. PMID:26381702

  1. Fluctuating Two-State Light Harvesting in a Photosynthetic Membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Duohai; Hu, Dehong; Liu, Ruchuan; Zeng, Xiaohua; Kaplan, Samuel; Lu, H. Peter

    2007-06-28

    How light is converted into chemical energy in a natural photosynthetic system is of great interest in energy sciences. Using single-molecule and single-vesicle fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging, we have observed fluctuating inter-molecular protein energy transfers in the photosynthetic membranes of R. sphaeroides. Our results suggest that there are dynamic coupled and non-coupled states in the light-harvesting protein assembly.

  2. Role of allophycocyanin as light-harvesting pigment in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Lemasson, C; Marsac, N T; Cohen-Bazire, G

    1973-11-01

    Photosynthetic action spectra of several cyanobacteria show a peak at about 650 nm, the height of which is correlated with allophycocyanin content in the strains examined. Allophycocyanin harvests light more efficiently than do phycocyanin and phycoerythrin. The contribution of chlorophyll a absorption to photosynthetic activity is barely detectable in cells of normal pigment composition. Chlorophyll a becomes the major light-harvesting pigment in cells that have been physiologically depleted of phycobiliproteins. PMID:16592117

  3. Role of Allophycocyanin as Light-Harvesting Pigment in Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Lemasson, C.; Marsac, N. Tandeau De; Cohen-Bazire, G.

    1973-01-01

    Photosynthetic action spectra of several cyanobacteria show a peak at about 650 nm, the height of which is correlated with allophycocyanin content in the strains examined. Allophycocyanin harvests light more efficiently than do phycocyanin and phycoerythrin. The contribution of chlorophyll a absorption to photosynthetic activity is barely detectable in cells of normal pigment composition. Chlorophyll a becomes the major light-harvesting pigment in cells that have been physiologically depleted of phycobiliproteins. PMID:16592117

  4. Light-harvesting materials: Soft support for energy conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Stolley, Ryan M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-11-10

    To convert solar energy into viable fuel sources, coupling light-harvesting materials to catalysts is a critical challenge. Now, coupling between an organic supramolecular hydrogel and a non precious metal catalyst has been demonstrated to be effective for photocatalytic H2 production. Ryan M. Stolley and Monte L. Helm are at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA, USA 99352. PNNL is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy. e-mail: Monte.Helm@pnnl.gov

  5. Light Harvesting by Lamellar Chromatophores in Rhodospirillum photometricum

    PubMed Central

    Chandler, Danielle E.; Strmpfer, Johan; Sener, Melih; Scheuring, Simon; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Purple photosynthetic bacteria harvest light using pigment-protein complexes which are often arranged in pseudo-organelles called chromatophores. A model of a chromatophore from Rhodospirillum photometricum was constructed based on atomic force microscopy data. Molecular-dynamics simulations and quantum-dynamics calculations were performedto characterize the intercomplex excitation transfer network and explore the interplay between close-packing and light-harvestingefficiency. PMID:24896130

  6. Synthesis and photophysical studies of self-assembled multicomponent supramolecular coordination prisms bearing porphyrin faces

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yanhui; Sánchez-Molina, Irene; Cao, Changsheng; Cook, Timothy R.; Stang, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Multicomponent self-assembly, wherein two unique donor precursors are combined with a single metal acceptor instead of the more common two-component assembly, can be achieved by selecting Lewis-basic sites and metal nodes that select for heteroligated coordination spheres. Platinum(II) ions show a thermodynamic preference for mixed pyridyl/carboxylate coordination environments and are thus suitable for such designs. The use of three or more unique building blocks increases the structural complexity of supramolecules. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of rectangular prismatic supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs) with two faces occupied by porphyrin molecules, motivated by the search for new multichromophore complexes with promising light-harvesting properties. These prisms are obtained from the self-assembly of a 90° Pt(II) acceptor with a meso-substituted tetrapyridylporphyrin (TPyP) and dicarboxylate ligands. The generality of this self-assembly reaction is demonstrated using five dicarboxylate ligands, two based on a rigid central phenyl ring and three alkyl-spaced variants, to form a total of five free-base and five Zn-metallated porphyrin prisms. All 10 SCCs are characterized by 31P and 1H multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, confirming the structure of each self-assembly and the stoichiometry of formation. The photophysical properties of the resulting SCCs were investigated revealing that the absorption and emission properties of the free-base and metallated porphyrin prisms preserve the spectral features associated with free TPyP. PMID:24979805

  7. Cascade exciton-pumping engines with manipulated speed and efficiency in light-harvesting porous ?-network films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Cheng; Huang, Ning; Xu, Fei; Gao, Jia; Jiang, Donglin

    2015-03-01

    Light-harvesting antennae are the machinery for exciton pumping in natural photosynthesis, whereas cascade energy transfer through chlorophyll is key to long-distance, efficient energy transduction. Numerous artificial antennae have been developed. However, they are limited in their cascade energy-transfer abilities because of a lack of control over complex chromophore aggregation processes, which has impeded their advancement. Here we report a viable approach for addressing this issue by using a light-harvesting porous polymer film in which a three-dimensional ?-network serves as the antenna and micropores segregate multiple dyes to prevent aggregation. Cascade energy-transfer engines are integrated into the films; the rate and efficiency of the energy-funneling engines are precisely manipulated by tailoring the dye components and contents. The nanofilms allow accurate and versatile luminescence engineering, resulting in the production of thirty emission hues, including blue, green, red and white. This advance may open new pathways for realising photosynthesis and photoenergy conversion.

  8. Early events in the biosynthesis and assembly of the cyanobacterial light-harvesting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Lamont

    1996-02-01

    The cyanobacteria are photosynthetic procaryotes that employ a mechanism of photosynthesis which is essentially identical to the systems found in plant chloroplasts and the eukaryotic green algae. Cyanobacteria can drive photosynthesis with light energy from a broad region of the visible spectrum (500 - 650 nm wavelength) that is not available to plants and green algae, which are limited to the narrow band of light energy that is absorbed by chlorophyll (660-680 nm). The light-harvesting capacity of the cyanobacteria is a function of a complex protein structure that resides on the surface of the photosynthetic membrane in contact with the PSII chlorophyll reaction centers. This light-harvesting complex is called a phycobilisome and functions as a protein scaffold for a rigid array of chromophores that absorbs light energy and transfers it to chlorophyll. The chromophores are linear tetrapyrroles (the bilins) that are covalently attached to the biliproteins, which comprise 80 - 85% of the total phycobilisome mass. There are three major classes of spectrally distinct biliproteins [phycoerythrin (PE), (lambda) max equals 565 nm; phycocyanin (PC), (lambda) max equals 617 nm; and allophycocyanin (AP), (lambda) max equals 650 nm] and their spatial organization within the phycobilisome creates an array of donor and acceptor chromophores that is optimized for resonance energy transfer to chlorophyll on a picosecond timescale and at close to 100% efficiency. The cyanobacteria can exert control over the biliprotein composition of the phycobilisomes in response to both light quality and light quantity, and they do so primarily by light-responsive transcription control mechanisms. The biosynthesis and assembly of a phycobilisome is an interesting example of self-assembly in a complex protein system. A phycobilisome from Synechocystis sp. strain 6701 can contain 400 proteins derived from a repertoire of 16 different polypeptides that includes the (alpha) and (beta) subunits for each major biliprotein and the achromic linker proteins that mediate assembly throughout the structure. The biliprotein subunit structures all show an identical motif that is reflected by significant amino acid sequence similarities across the different classes. Since phycobilisomes can comprise up to 40% of the cyanobacterial dry mass, assembly of these complexes must occur in the presence of high localized concentrations of components that are very similar in structure. That phycobilisome assembly is an efficient process with no evidence of significant misassembly suggests that effective molecular recognition during phycobilisome biosynthesis is based upon the subtle differences between subunits of different class biliproteins. We are using a protein engineering approach to examine structural features that mediate molecular recognition in two of the earliest steps of phycobilisome assembly, the docking of (alpha) and (beta) subunits and the selective attachment of chromophores.

  9. Self-assembled resonance energy transfer devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thusu, Viresh

    This dissertation hypothesizes: "It is possible to design a self-assembled, nanoscale, high-speed, resonance energy transfer device exhibiting non-linear gain with a few molecules." The report recognizes DNA self-assembly, a relatively inexpensive and a massively parallel fabrication process, as a strong candidate for self-assembled RET systems. It successfully investigates into the design and simulations of a novel sequential self-assembly process employed to realize the goal of creating large, scalable, fully-addressable DNA nanostructure-substrate for future molecular circuitry. As a pre-cursor to the final device modeling various RET wire designs for interconnecting nanocircuits are presented and their modeling and simulation results are discussed. A chromophore RET system using a biomolecular sensor as a proof-of-concept argument that shows it is possible to model and characterize chromophore systems as a first step towards device modeling is also discussed. Finally, the thesis report describes in detail the design, modeling, characterization, and fabrication of the Closed-Diffusive Exciton Valve: a self-assembled, nanoscale (area of 17.34 nm2), high-speed (3.5 ps to 6 ps) resonance energy transfer device exhibiting non-linear gain using only 10 molecules, thus confirming the hypothesis. It also recognized improvements that can be made in the future to facilitate better device operation and suggested various applications.

  10. Biomimetic Branched Hollow Fibers Templated by Self-assembled Fibrous Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) Structures in Aqueous Solution

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Penghe; Mao, Chuanbin

    2010-01-01

    Branched hollow fibers are common in nature, but to form artificial fibers with a similar branched hollow structure is still a challenge. We discovered that polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) could self-assemble into branched hollow fibers in an aqueous solution after aging the PVP solution for about two weeks. Based on this finding, we demonstrated two approaches by which the self-assembly of PVP into branched hollow fibers could be exploited to template the formation of branched hollow inorganic fibers. First, inorganic material such as silica with high affinity against the PVP could be deposited on the surface of the branched hollow PVP fibers to form branched hollow silica fibers. To extend the application of PVP self-assembly in templating the formation of hollow branched fibers, we then adopted a second approach where the PVP molecules bound to inorganic nanoparticles (using gold nanoparticles as a model) co-self-assemble with the free PVP molecules in an aqueous solution, resulting in the formation of the branched hollow fibers with the nanoparticles embedded in the PVP matrix constituting the walls of the fibers. Heating the resultant fibers above the glass transition temperature of PVP led to the formation of branched hollow gold fibers. Our work suggests that the self-assembly of the PVP molecules in the solution can serve as a general method for directing the formation of branched hollow inorganic fibers. The branched hollow fibers may find potential applications in microfluidics, artificial blood vessel generation, and tissue engineering. PMID:20158250

  11. S-Layer Protein Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Pum, Dietmar; Toca-Herrera, Jose Luis; Sleytr, Uwe B.

    2013-01-01

    Crystalline S(urface)-layers are the most commonly observed cell surface structures in prokaryotic organisms (bacteria and archaea). S-layers are highly porous protein meshworks with unit cell sizes in the range of 3 to 30 nm, and thicknesses of ~10 nm. One of the key features of S-layer proteins is their intrinsic capability to form self-assembled mono- or double layers in solution, and at interfaces. Basic research on S-layer proteins laid foundation to make use of the unique self-assembly properties of native and, in particular, genetically functionalized S-layer protein lattices, in a broad range of applications in the life and non-life sciences. This contribution briefly summarizes the knowledge about structure, genetics, chemistry, morphogenesis, and function of S-layer proteins and pays particular attention to the self-assembly in solution, and at differently functionalized solid supports. PMID:23354479

  12. Thermodynamics of Phospholipid Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Derek

    2012-01-01

    Negatively charged phospholipids are an important component of biological membranes. The thermodynamic parameters governing self-assembly of anionic phospholipids are deduced here from isothermal titration calorimetry. Heats of demicellization were determined for dioctanoyl phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidylserine (PS) at different ionic strengths, and for dioctanoyl phosphatidic acid at different pH values. The large heat capacity (?CoP ? ?400 J.mol?1 K?1 for PG and PS), and zero enthalpy at a characteristic temperature near the physiological range (T? ? 300 K for PG and PS), demonstrate that the driving force for self-assembly is the hydrophobic effect. The pH and ionic-strength dependences indicate that the principal electrostatic contribution to self-assembly comes from the entropy associated with the electrostatic double layer, in agreement with theoretical predictions. These measurements help define the thermodynamic effects of anionic lipids on biomembrane stability. PMID:22404930

  13. Self-assembly of nanocomposite materials

    DOEpatents

    Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Sellinger, Alan; Lu, Yunfeng

    2001-01-01

    A method of making a nanocomposite self-assembly is provided where at least one hydrophilic compound, at least one hydrophobic compound, and at least one amphiphilic surfactant are mixed in an aqueous solvent with the solvent subsequently evaporated to form a self-assembled liquid crystalline mesophase material. Upon polymerization of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds, a robust nanocomposite self-assembled material is formed. Importantly, in the reaction mixture, the amphiphilic surfactant has an initial concentration below the critical micelle concentration to allow formation of the liquid-phase micellar mesophase material. A variety of nanocomposite structures can be formed, depending upon the solvent evaporazation process, including layered mesophases, tubular mesophases, and a hierarchical composite coating composed of an isotropic worm-like micellar overlayer bonded to an oriented, nanolaminated underlayer.

  14. Self-Assembly of Peptides to Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Dindyal; Shirazi, Amir Nasrolahi; Parang, Keykavous

    2014-01-01

    The formation of well-ordered nanostructures through self-assembly of diverse organic and inorganic building blocks has drawn much attention owing to their potential applications in biology and chemistry. Among all organic building blocks, peptides are one of the most promising platforms due to their biocompatibility, chemical diversity, and resemblance with proteins. Inspired from the protein assembly in biological systems, various self-assembled peptide structures have been constructed using several amino acids and sequences. This review focuses on this emerging area, the recent advances in peptide self-assembly, and formation of different nanostructures, such as tubular, fibers, vesicles, spherical, and rod coil structures. While different peptide nanostructures are discovered, potential applications will be explored in drug delivery, tissue engineering, wound healing, and surfactants. PMID:24756480

  15. Theory of Programmable Hierarchic Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkachenko, Alexei V.

    2011-06-01

    We present a theoretical analysis of the inverse problem in self-assembly. A particular scheme is proposed for building an arbitrary desired nanostructure out of self-assembled building blocks (“octopus” nanoparticles). The conditions for robust self-assembly of the target structure are identified. This includes the minimal number of “colors” needed to encode interparticle bonds, which are to be implemented as pairs of complementary DNA sequences. As a part of this analysis, it is demonstrated that a floppy network with thermal fluctuations, in a certain range of coordination numbers ⟨Z⟩, possesses entropic rigidity and can be described as a traditional elastic solid. The onset of the entropic rigidity, ⟨Z⟩=d+1, determines the minimal number of bond types per particle needed to encode the desired structure. Thermodynamic considerations give additional conditions for the implementation of this scheme.

  16. Handedness and self assembly of chiral rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efrati, Efi

    2014-03-01

    When handed building blocks, such as twisted fusilli, self-assemble the resulting assembled object is typically also handed (as are its physical response properties). This phenomenon plays a central role in fields raging from biological self-assembly to optimizing the design of optical meta-materials. Despite the importance of this problem, predicting the relation between the handedness of the constituents of an assembled object and its overall handedness has remained an elusive goal even for the simplest of cases. At the heart of this problem lies the difficulty of quantifying the handedness of even a single building block. In this talk I will show how a recent orientation-dependent interpretation of handedness as a relation between directions and rotations sidesteps most of the difficulties associated with the quantification of handedness and resolves an existing puzzle regarding the self-assembly of handed colloidal rods.

  17. Self Assembled Monolayer for Molecular Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koo, Ja-Ryong; Pyo, Sang-Woo; Kim, Jun-Ho; Lee, Hyun-Koo; Kim, Young Kwan

    2005-01-01

    Molecular electronic devices were fabricated with thiol derivatives as redox-active component. This molecules have a thiol radical to allow monolayer formation by the self assembly method, and then this self assembled monolayer (SAM) were inserted between patterned Pt bottom electrode (30 nm) and Ti (5 nm)/Al (30 nm) top electrodes in crossbar array architectures. Before self assembly process, the substrate was treated by a piranha solution or a UV-ozone treatment. From contact angle measurements, before forming SAM, both the substrates treated by the piranha solution and the UV-ozone were hydrophilic condition. After forming SAM, the substrates were maintained with hydrophobic condition in case of the octadecanethiol (C18SH) and hydrophilic condition in case of the 11-mercapto-1-undecanol (HSC11OH). Such results were shown that the SAM was well packed. Also, the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of the SAM devices along the direction vertical to substrate were measured.

  18. From Self-Assembled Vesicles to Protocells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Irene A.; Walde, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Self-assembled vesicles are essential components of primitive cells. We review the importance of vesicles during the origins of life, fundamental thermodynamics and kinetics of self-assembly, and experimental models of simple vesicles, focusing on prebiotically plausible fatty acids and their derivatives. We review recent work on interactions of simple vesicles with RNA and other studies of the transition from vesicles to protocells. Finally we discuss current challenges in understanding the biophysics of protocells, as well as conceptual questions in information transmission and self-replication. PMID:20519344

  19. Remote control of self-assembled microswimmers

    PubMed Central

    Grosjean, G.; Lagubeau, G.; Darras, A.; Hubert, M.; Lumay, G.; Vandewalle, N.

    2015-01-01

    Physics governing the locomotion of microorganisms and other microsystems is dominated by viscous damping. An effective swimming strategy involves the non-reciprocal and periodic deformations of the considered body. Here, we show that a magnetocapillary-driven self-assembly, composed of three soft ferromagnetic beads, is able to swim along a liquid-air interface when powered by an external magnetic field. More importantly, we demonstrate that trajectories can be fully controlled, opening ways to explore low Reynolds number swimming. This magnetocapillary system spontaneously forms by self-assembly, allowing miniaturization and other possible applications such as cargo transport or solvent flows. PMID:26538006

  20. Remote control of self-assembled microswimmers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosjean, G.; Lagubeau, G.; Darras, A.; Hubert, M.; Lumay, G.; Vandewalle, N.

    2015-11-01

    Physics governing the locomotion of microorganisms and other microsystems is dominated by viscous damping. An effective swimming strategy involves the non-reciprocal and periodic deformations of the considered body. Here, we show that a magnetocapillary-driven self-assembly, composed of three soft ferromagnetic beads, is able to swim along a liquid-air interface when powered by an external magnetic field. More importantly, we demonstrate that trajectories can be fully controlled, opening ways to explore low Reynolds number swimming. This magnetocapillary system spontaneously forms by self-assembly, allowing miniaturization and other possible applications such as cargo transport or solvent flows.

  1. Computer simulation of nanocube self-assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xi

    Self-assembly of nanoscale building blocks and molecules into ordered nanostructures is a promising venue for bottom-up materials design. A wide variety of nanoparticles with unique shapes and uniform sizes have been successfully synthesized. However, organizing these nanoparticles into desired, predefined nanostructures is a formidable challenge now facing the materials community. For example, simple 2-D arrays and 3-D superlattices are the prevalent structures from most nanocube self-assemblies. Two practical strategies to impart anisotropy onto nanocubes, namely, attaching polymer tethers to nanoparticle surfaces and introducing directional dipolar interactions, can be applied to achieve more complex assembled structures. In this dissertation, we conduct computer simulations on nanocube self-assemblies induced by polymer tethers and directional dipole interactions, to examine the various parameters involved in such complicated self-assembly processes, including temperature, concentration, solvent condition, cube size, tether length, tether topology, tether placement, tether number, dipole direction, dipole strength and polydispersity, in order to understand how the packing geometry and interactions between nanocubes can be manipulated to confer precise control over the assembled structures and the phase behavior. First, we simulate monotethered nanocubes and find that the nanocubes favor face-to-face packing in poor solvents, stabilizing the lamellae phases. Next, we simulate different architectures of tethered nanocubes and demonstrate that the steric influence of tether beads can be manipulated to interfere with the face-to-face packing of nanocubes and alter the phase behaviors. We also study the self-assembly of nanocubes with dipoles. We find that the head-to-tail alignment of dipoles, coupled with the face-to-face close packing of nanocubes, dictates the assembled structures. The face-face attraction between nanocubes can also be utilized to control the self-assembled morphologies. Our results may help to understand and control the impact of the various self-assembly parameters on the assembled structures and phase behaviors. Our studies suggest new opportunities in bottom-up materials design from nanocube self-assemblies.

  2. Remote control of self-assembled microswimmers.

    PubMed

    Grosjean, G; Lagubeau, G; Darras, A; Hubert, M; Lumay, G; Vandewalle, N

    2015-01-01

    Physics governing the locomotion of microorganisms and other microsystems is dominated by viscous damping. An effective swimming strategy involves the non-reciprocal and periodic deformations of the considered body. Here, we show that a magnetocapillary-driven self-assembly, composed of three soft ferromagnetic beads, is able to swim along a liquid-air interface when powered by an external magnetic field. More importantly, we demonstrate that trajectories can be fully controlled, opening ways to explore low Reynolds number swimming. This magnetocapillary system spontaneously forms by self-assembly, allowing miniaturization and other possible applications such as cargo transport or solvent flows. PMID:26538006

  3. Amphiphilic, hydrophilic, or hydrophobic synthetic bacteriochlorins in biohybrid light-harvesting architectures: consideration of molecular designs.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jianbing; Reddy, Kanumuri Ramesh; Pavan, M Phani; Lubian, Elisa; Harris, Michelle A; Jiao, Jieying; Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Kirmaier, Christine; Parkes-Loach, Pamela S; Loach, Paul A; Bocian, David F; Holten, Dewey; Lindsey, Jonathan S

    2014-11-01

    Biohybrid light-harvesting architectures can be constructed that employ native-like bacterial photosynthetic antenna peptides as a scaffold to which synthetic chromophores are attached to augment overall spectral coverage. Synthetic bacteriochlorins are attractive to enhance capture of solar radiation in the photon-rich near-infrared spectral region. The effect of the polarity of the bacteriochlorin substituents on the antenna self-assembly process was explored by the preparation of a bacteriochlorin-peptide conjugate using a synthetic amphiphilic bacteriochlorin (B1) to complement prior studies using hydrophilic (B2, four carboxylic acids) or hydrophobic (B3) bacteriochlorins. The amphiphilic bioconjugatable bacteriochlorin B1 with a polar ammonium-terminated tail was synthesized by sequential Pd-mediated reactions of a 3,13-dibromo-5-methoxybacteriochlorin. Each bacteriochlorin bears a maleimido-terminated tether for attachment to a cysteine-containing analog of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides antenna ?-peptide to give conjugates ?-B1, ?-B2, and ?-B3. Given the hydrophobic nature of the ?-peptide, the polarity of B1 and B2 facilitated purification of the respective conjugate compared to the hydrophobic B3. Bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) associates with each conjugate in aqueous micellar media to form a dyad containing two ?-peptides, two covalently attached synthetic bacteriochlorins, and a datively bonded BChl-a pair, albeit to a limited extent for ?-B2. The reversible assembly/disassembly of dyad (?-B2/BChl)2 was examined in aqueous detergent (octyl glucoside) solution by temperature variation (15-35C). The energy-transfer efficiency from the synthetic bacteriochlorin to the BChl-a dimer was found to be 0.85 for (?-B1/BChl)2, 0.40 for (?-B2/BChl)2, and 0.85 for (?-B3/BChl)2. Thus, in terms of handling, assembly and energy-transfer efficiency taken together, the amphiphilic design examined herein is more attractive than the prior hydrophilic or hydrophobic designs. PMID:24997120

  4. Carotenoid Cation Formation and the Regulation of Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Nancy E.; Zigmantas, Donatas; Valkunas, Leonas; Li, Xiao-Ping; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2005-01-01

    Photosynthetic light harvesting in excess light is regulated by a process known as feedback deexcitation. Femtosecond transient absorption measurements on thylakoid membranes show selective formation of a carotenoid radical cation upon excitation of chlorophyll under conditions of maximum, steady-state feedback deexcitation. Studies on transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants confirmed that this carotenoid radical cation formation is correlated with feedback deexcitation and requires the presence of zeaxanthin, the specific carotenoid synthesized during high light exposure. These results indicate that energy transfer from chlorophyll molecules to a chlorophyll-zeaxanthin heterodimer, which then undergoes charge separation, is the mechanism for excess energy dissipation during feedback deexcitation.

  5. Self-assembled thin film chemical sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Swanson, B.; Li, DeQuan

    1996-11-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Current chemical sensors suffer from poor molecular specificity, sensitivity, and stability and seldom have the recovery properties needed for real-time monitoring applications. We have employed self-assembly techniques to covalently bond species- selective reagents directly to the surface of the transducer so that analyte/reagent chemistry occurs at the interface between the transducer and the media to be monitored. The use of self-assembling monolayer and -multilayer (SAM) techniques results in stable sensing elements with optimal specificity built in through the use of reagents that have been designed for molecular recognition. Moreover, self-assembly chemistry applied to oxide surfaces allows flexible means of transduction spanning optical, electrochemical, mass-loading, and conduction methods. The work conducted on this project focused on demonstration of the methodology and the application to selected organic vapors (aromatic compounds and halogenated hydrocarbons). We have been able to develop a series of surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors that are specific for aromatic compounds and halogenated hydrocarbons based on self-assembled thin films of cyclodextrins and calixarenes. Monolayers of seven different cyclodextrins and clixarenes have been attached to SAW transducers and their response to several organic molecules in the vapor phase have been measured. This preliminary data confirms the efficacy of this approach for real- time monitoring of hydrocarbons.

  6. Inverse Problem in Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkachenko, Alexei

    2012-02-01

    By decorating colloids and nanoparticles with DNA, one can introduce highly selective key-lock interactions between them. This leads to a new class of systems and problems in soft condensed matter physics. In particular, this opens a possibility to solve inverse problem in self-assembly: how to build an arbitrary desired structure with the bottom-up approach? I will present a theoretical and computational analysis of the hierarchical strategy in attacking this problem. It involves self-assembly of particular building blocks (``octopus particles''), that in turn would assemble into the target structure. On a conceptual level, our approach combines elements of three different brands of programmable self assembly: DNA nanotechnology, nanoparticle-DNA assemblies and patchy colloids. I will discuss the general design principles, theoretical and practical limitations of this approach, and illustrate them with our simulation results. Our crucial result is that not only it is possible to design a system that has a given nanostructure as a ground state, but one can also program and optimize the kinetic pathway for its self-assembly.

  7. Manipulating Excited-State Dynamics of Individual Light-Harvesting Chromophores through Restricted Motions in a Hydrated Nanoscale Protein Cavity.

    PubMed

    Noriega, Rodrigo; Finley, Daniel T; Haberstroh, John; Geissler, Phillip L; Francis, Matthew B; Ginsberg, Naomi S

    2015-06-11

    Manipulating the photophysical properties of light-absorbing units is a crucial element in the design of biomimetic light-harvesting systems. Using a highly tunable synthetic platform combined with transient absorption and time-resolved fluorescence measurements and molecular dynamics simulations, we interrogate isolated chromophores covalently linked to different positions in the interior of the hydrated nanoscale cavity of a supramolecular protein assembly. We find that, following photoexcitation, the time scales over which these chromophores are solvated, undergo conformational rearrangements, and return to the ground state are highly sensitive to their position within this cavity and are significantly slower than in a bulk aqueous solution. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal the hindered translations and rotations of water molecules within the protein cavity with spatial specificity. The results presented herein show that fully hydrated nanoscale protein cavities are a promising way to mimic the tight protein pockets found in natural light-harvesting complexes. We also show that the interplay between protein, solvent, and chromophores can be used to substantially tune the relaxation processes within artificial light-harvesting assemblies in order to significantly improve the yield of interchromophore energy transfer and extend the range of excitation transport. Our observations have implications for other important, similarly sized bioinspired materials, such as nanoreactors and biocompatible targeted delivery agents. PMID:26035585

  8. Molecular Self-assembly for Organic Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun; Kaur, Irvinder; Diaconescu, Bogdan; Jazdzyk, Mikael; Miller, Glen P.; Pohl, Karsten

    2009-10-01

    Self-assembled thin films of novel organic molecules hold the promise of emerging technologies and applications ranging from sensors for biological applications to organic electronics and more efficient organic photovoltaics. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) form as a result of a delicate balance between competing molecule-substrate and intermolecular interactions. To control such self-assembly processes, it is mandatory to understand how this balance reflects onto the SAM's final structure. Here we present an ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study of the self-assembly of novel pentacene derivatives and functionalized fullerenes (F-C60) on metal surfaces. Pentacene is known to exhibit large carrier mobility and has been studied extensively as a semiconductor in organic thin film devices. However, it is subject to facile photo-oxidation that limits device lifetime. We recently synthesized novel pentacene derivatives that show a dramatically increased resistance to photo-oxidation. We identified 6,13-dichloropentacene as a promising candidate for organic electronics. On the compact surface of gold, 6,13-dichloropentacene forms self-assembled domains with various high symmetry orientations. The quality of the SAM is seem to dramatically improve when the 6,13-dichloropentacene are deposited on the (788) vicinal surface of gold where the presence of parallel atomic steps will select only one of the possible SAM orientations due to the molecule-step interaction. Thus we observe the formation of very large self-assembled 6,13-dichloropentacene monolayers with perfect single domain orientation. We have also studied the self-assembly of C60 functionalized with alkyl chains of various lengths (F-C60) on Ag(111). We find that as a function of the alkyl chain length various structures are forming, ranging from zigzag like to linear arrays of C60 fullerene cages. The symmetry and unit cell size of the F-C60 SAMs is dictated by the alkyl-surface and the intermolecular interactions. These results show that C60 molecules can be assembled in 2D and non-compact molecular arrays with a surface density controllable via appropriate chemical functionalization. Those structures show promise as candidates for selfassembled molecular junctions.

  9. Self-assembled nanolaminate coatings (SV)

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, H.

    2012-03-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LM Aero) are collaborating to develop affordable, self-assembled, nanocomposite coatings and associated fabrication processes that will be tailored to Lockheed Martin product requirements. The purpose of this project is to develop a family of self-assembled coatings with properties tailored to specific performance requirements, such as antireflective (AR) optics, using Sandia-developed self-assembled techniques. The project met its objectives by development of a simple and economic self-assembly processes to fabricate multifunctional coatings. Specifically, materials, functionalization methods, and associated coating processes for single layer and multiple layers coatings have been developed to accomplish high reflective coatings, hydrophobic coatings, and anti-reflective coatings. Associated modeling and simulations have been developed to guide the coating designs for optimum optical performance. The accomplishments result in significant advantages of reduced costs, increased manufacturing freedom/producibility, improved logistics, and the incorporation of new technology solutions not possible with conventional technologies. These self-assembled coatings with tailored properties will significantly address LMC's needs and give LMC a significant competitive lead in new engineered materials. This work complements SNL's LDRD and BES programs aimed at developing multifunctional nanomaterials for microelectronics and optics as well as structure/property investigations of self-assembled nanomaterials. In addition, this project will provide SNL with new opportunities to develop and apply self-assembled nanocomposite optical coatings for use in the wavelength ranges of 3-5 and 8-12 micrometers, ranges of vital importance to military-based sensors and weapons. The SANC technologies will be applied to multiple programs within the LM Company including the F-35, F-22, ADP (Future Strike Bomber, UAV, UCAV, etc.). The SANC technologies will establish LMA and related US manufacturing capability for commercial and military applications therefore reducing reliance on off-shore development and production of related critical technologies. If these technologies are successfully licensed, production of these coatings in manufactory will create significant technical employment opportunities.

  10. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A.; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a).

  11. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-25

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a). PMID:25168231

  12. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; Cogdell, Richard J.; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub–100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump–probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations. PMID:26903650

  13. Regulation of photosystem I light harvesting by zeaxanthin

    PubMed Central

    Ballottari, Matteo; Alcocer, Marcelo J. P.; D’Andrea, Cosimo; Viola, Daniele; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Petrozza, Annamaria; Polli, Dario; Fleming, Graham R.; Cerullo, Giulio; Bassi, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI–LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI–LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI–LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly. PMID:24872450

  14. Regulation of photosystem I light harvesting by zeaxanthin.

    PubMed

    Ballottari, Matteo; Alcocer, Marcelo J P; D'Andrea, Cosimo; Viola, Daniele; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Petrozza, Annamaria; Polli, Dario; Fleming, Graham R; Cerullo, Giulio; Bassi, Roberto

    2014-06-10

    In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI-LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI-LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI-LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly. PMID:24872450

  15. Light-Harvesting Function in the Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum1

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Thomas G.; Wold, Evarina R.

    1986-01-01

    Three pigment-protein complexes were isolated from the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bohlin) by treatment of thylakoid membrane fragments with 1% Triton X-100 at 4C followed by centrifugation on sucrose density gradients. The major complex contains chlorophyll a, c1, c2, and the carotenoid fucoxanthin (chlorophyll a: c1: c2: fucoxanthin = 1.0: 0.09: 0.28: 2.22) bound to an apoprotein doublet of 16.4 and 16.9 kilodaltons. This complex accounts for >70% of the total pigment and 20 to 40% of the protein in the thylakoid membranes. Efficient coupling of chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin absorption to chlorophyll a fluorescence supports a light-harvesting function for the complex. A minor light-harvesting complex containing chlorophyll a, c1, and c2 but no fucoxanthin (chlorophyll a: c1: c2 = 1.0: 0.23: 0.26) was also isolated at Triton: chlorophyll a ratios between 20 and 40. These pigments are bound to a similar molecular weight apoprotein doublet. The third complex isolated was the P700-chlorophyll a protein, the reaction center of photosystem I, which showed characteristics similar to those isolated from other plant sources. The yield of the chlorophyll a/c-fucoxanthin complex was shown to respond strongly to changes in light intensity during growth, accounting for most of the changes in cellular pigmentation. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 5 PMID:16664694

  16. Block copolymer self-assembly for the responsive reinforcement of injectable protein hydrogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glassman, M. J.; Li, S.; Chan, J.; Olsen, B. D.

    2012-02-01

    Shear-thinning injectable protein hydrogels are emerging as important biomaterials for the minimally-invasive implantation of scaffolds for tissue engineering and drug delivery. In this work, responsive block copolymer self-assembly is employed to trigger nanostructure formation in hydrogels made from artificial associative proteins, producing hydrogels with resistance to shear-thinning post injection, reduced erosion rate, higher toughness, and dramatically reduced creep compliance. Polymer-protein-polymer triblock copolymers have been synthesized by conjugating poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) to either end of a protein midblock decorated with self-associating pentavalent sticker domains. Self-assembly at elevated temperatures introduces a second physical network into the protein hydrogel with an independent and tunable relaxation time. The phase behavior of these dual-network hydrogels has been explored, revealing the ability to access nanostructured morphologies, and the effect of self-assembled polymer domains on the linear mechanics and toughness of injectable hydrogels has been investigated.

  17. Self-assembly between biomacromolecules and lipids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Hongjun

    Anionic DNA and cationic lipsomes can self-assemble into a multi-lamellar structure where two-dimensional (2-D) lipid sheets confine a periodic one-dimensional (1-D) lattice of parallel DNA chains, between which Cd2+ ions can condense, and be subsequently reacted with H 2S to template CdS nanorods with crystallographic control analogous to biomineralization. The strong electrostatic interactions align the templated CdS (002) polar planes parallel to the negatively charged sugar-phosphate DNA backbone, which indicates that molecular details of the DNA molecule are imprinted onto the inorganic crystal structure. The resultant nanorods have (002) planes tilted by 60 with respect to the rod axis, in contrast to all known II-VI semiconductor nanorods. Rational design of the biopolymer-membrane templates is possible, as demonstrated by the self-assembly between anionic M13 virus and cationic membrane. The filamentous virus has diameter 3x larger but similar surface charge density as DNA, the self-assembled complexes maintain the multi-lamellar structure, but pore sizes are 10x larger in area, which can be used to package and organize large functional molecules. Not only the counter-charged objects can self-assemble, the like-charged biopolymer and membrane can also self-assemble with the help of multivalent ions. We have investigated anionic lipid-DNA complexes induced by a range of divalent ions to show how different ion-mediated interactions are expressed in the self-assembled structures, which include two distinct lamellar phases and an inverted hexagonal phase. DNA can be selectively organized into or expelled out of the lamellar phases depending on membrane charge density and counterion concentration. For a subset of ion (Zn2+ etc.) at high enough concentration, 2-D inverted hexagonal phase can be formed where DNA strands are coated with anionic lipid tubes via interaction with Zn2+ ions. We suggest that the effect of ion binding on lipid's spontaneous curvature is sufficient to explain the lamellar to inverted hexagonal transition. Finally, we studied the interaction of anionic DNA with zwitterionic lipids at the presence of multivalent ions. Polymorphism of phases was found depending on lipid's intrinsic curvature. The anionic lipid-DNA and zwitterionic lipid-DNA complexes are currently emerged as new types of gene delivery systems with low cytotoxicity.

  18. Self-assembling membranes and related methods thereof

    DOEpatents

    Capito, Ramille M; Azevedo, Helena S; Stupp, Samuel L

    2013-08-20

    The present invention relates to self-assembling membranes. In particular, the present invention provides self-assembling membranes configured for securing and/or delivering bioactive agents. In some embodiments, the self-assembling membranes are used in the treatment of diseases, and related methods (e.g., diagnostic methods, research methods, drug screening).

  19. Aerosolized droplet mediated self-assembly of photosynthetic pigment analogues and deposition onto substrates.

    PubMed

    Shah, Vivek B; Biswas, Pratim

    2014-02-25

    Self-assembled photosynthetic molecules have a high extinction coefficient and a broad absorption in the infrared region, and these properties can be used to improve the efficiency of solar cells. We have developed a single-step method for the self-assembly of synthetic chlorin molecules (analogues of native bacteriochlorophylls) in aerosolized droplets, containing a single solvent and two solvents, to synthesize biomimetic light-harvesting structures. In the single-solvent approach, assembly is promoted by a concentration-driven process due to evaporation of the solvent. The peak absorbance of Zn(II) 3-(1-hydroxyethyl)-10-phenyl-13(1)-oxophorbine (1) in methanol shifted from 646 nm to 725 nm (? 80 nm shift) after assembly, which is comparable to the shift observed in the naturally occurring assembly of bacteriochlorophyll c. Although assembly is thermodynamically favorable, the kinetics of self-assembly play an important role, and this was demonstrated by varying the initial concentration of the pigment monomer. To overcome kinetic limitations, a two-solvent approach using a volatile solvent (tetrahydrofuran) in which the dye is soluble and a less volatile solvent (ethanol) in which the dye is sparingly soluble was demonstrated to be effective. The effect of molecular structure is demonstrated by spraying the sterically hindered Zn(II) 3-(1-hydroxyethyl)-10-mesityl-13(1)-oxophorbine (2), which is an analogue of 1, under similar conditions. The results illustrate a valuable and facile aerosol-based method for the formation of films of supramolecular assemblies. PMID:24422474

  20. Pigment interactions in light-harvesting complex II in different molecular environments.

    PubMed

    Akhtar, Parveen; Dorogi, Márta; Pawlak, Krzysztof; Kovács, László; Bóta, Attila; Kiss, Teréz; Garab, Győző; Lambrev, Petar H

    2015-02-20

    Extraction of plant light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) from the native thylakoid membrane or from aggregates by the use of surfactants brings about significant changes in the excitonic circular dichroism (CD) spectrum and fluorescence quantum yield. To elucidate the cause of these changes, e.g. trimer-trimer contacts or surfactant-induced structural perturbations, we compared the CD spectra and fluorescence kinetics of LHCII aggregates, artificial and native LHCII-lipid membranes, and LHCII solubilized in different detergents or trapped in polymer gel. By this means we were able to identify CD spectral changes specific to LHCII-LHCII interactions, at (-)-437 and (+)-484 nm, and changes specific to the interaction with the detergent n-dodecyl-β-maltoside (β-DM) or membrane lipids, at (+)-447 and (-)-494 nm. The latter change is attributed to the conformational change of the LHCII-bound carotenoid neoxanthin, by analyzing the CD spectra of neoxanthin-deficient plant thylakoid membranes. The neoxanthin-specific band at (-)-494 nm was not pronounced in LHCII in detergent-free gels or solubilized in the α isomer of DM but was present when LHCII was reconstituted in membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine or plant thylakoid lipids, indicating that the conformation of neoxanthin is sensitive to the molecular environment. Neither the aggregation-specific CD bands, nor the surfactant-specific bands were positively associated with the onset of fluorescence quenching, which could be triggered without invoking such spectral changes. Significant quenching was not active in reconstituted LHCII proteoliposomes, whereas a high degree of energetic connectivity, depending on the lipid:protein ratio, in these membranes allows for efficient light harvesting. PMID:25525277

  1. Controlling and imaging biomimetic self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliprandi, Alessandro; Mauro, Matteo; de Cola, Luisa

    2016-01-01

    The self-assembly of chemical entities represents a very attractive way to create a large variety of ordered functional structures and complex matter. Although much effort has been devoted to the preparation of supramolecular nanostructures based on different chemical building blocks, an understanding of the mechanisms at play and the ability to monitor assembly processes and, in turn, control them are often elusive, which precludes a deep and comprehensive control of the final structures. Here the complex supramolecular landscape of a platinum(II) compound is characterized fully and controlled successfully through a combination of supramolecular and photochemical approaches. The supramolecular assemblies comprise two kinetic assemblies and their thermodynamic counterpart. The monitoring of the different emission properties of the aggregates, used as a fingerprint for each species, allows the real-time visualization of the evolving self-assemblies. The control of multiple supramolecular pathways will help the design of complex systems in and out of their thermodynamic equilibrium.

  2. Controlling and imaging biomimetic self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Aliprandi, Alessandro; Mauro, Matteo; De Cola, Luisa

    2016-01-01

    The self-assembly of chemical entities represents a very attractive way to create a large variety of ordered functional structures and complex matter. Although much effort has been devoted to the preparation of supramolecular nanostructures based on different chemical building blocks, an understanding of the mechanisms at play and the ability to monitor assembly processes and, in turn, control them are often elusive, which precludes a deep and comprehensive control of the final structures. Here the complex supramolecular landscape of a platinum(II) compound is characterized fully and controlled successfully through a combination of supramolecular and photochemical approaches. The supramolecular assemblies comprise two kinetic assemblies and their thermodynamic counterpart. The monitoring of the different emission properties of the aggregates, used as a fingerprint for each species, allows the real-time visualization of the evolving self-assemblies. The control of multiple supramolecular pathways will help the design of complex systems in and out of their thermodynamic equilibrium. PMID:26673259

  3. Programming protein self assembly with coiled coils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietz, Hendrik; Bornschlögl, Thomas; Heym, Roland; König, Frauke; Rief, Matthias

    2007-11-01

    The controlled assembly of protein domains into supramolecular structures will be an important prerequisite for the use of functional proteins in future nanotechnology applications. Coiled coils are multimerization motifs whose dimerization properties can be programmed by amino acid sequence. Here, we report programmed supramolecular self-assembly of protein molecules using coiled coils and directly demonstrate its potential on the single molecule level by AFM force spectroscopy. We flanked two different model proteins, Ig27 from human cardiac titin and green fluorescent protein (GFP), by coiled coil binding partners and studied the capability of these elementary building blocks to self-assemble into linear chains. Simple sterical constraints are shown to control the assembly process, providing evidence that many proteins can be assembled with this method. An application for this technique is the design of polyproteins for single molecule force spectroscopy with an integrated force-calibration standard.

  4. Light-Harvesting Chlorophyll a/b Protein 1

    PubMed Central

    Cline, Kenneth

    1988-01-01

    The apoprotein of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein (LHCP) is a major integral thylakoid membrane protein that is normally complexed with chlorophyll and xanthophylls and serves as the antenna complex of photosystem II. LHCP is encoded in the nucleus and synthesized in the cytosol as a higher molecular weight precursor that is subsequently imported into chloroplasts and assembled into thylakoids. In a previous study it was established that the LHCP precursor can integrate into isolated thylakoid membranes. The present study demonstrates that under conditions designed to preserve thylakoid structure, the inserted LHCP precursor is processed to mature size, assembled into the LHC II chlorophyll-protein complex, and localized to the appressed thylakoid membranes. Under these conditions, light can partially replace exogenous ATP in the membrane integration process. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:16666042

  5. Potential of light-harvesting proton pumps for bioenergy applications.

    PubMed

    Walter, Jessica M; Greenfield, Derek; Liphardt, Jan

    2010-06-01

    Concerns about the security and longevity of traditional energy sources have increased interest in alternative methods of energy production, particularly those which utilize abundantly available solar energy. Solar energy can be harvested either indirectly through the conversion of plant or algal byproducts into biofuels or directly using engineered microorganisms. Here we summarize the main features of light-harvesting proton pumps, which may provide a relatively simple way to boost the efficiency of energy-limited biological processes in fuel production. This family of proton pumps, which includes bacteriorhodopsin and proteorhodopsin, directly uses light energy to create a proton motive force (pmf) which can be used by other enzymes to facilitate active transport, regulate transmembrane proteins, or to generate ATP and NADH. PMID:20371172

  6. Perspective: Detecting and measuring exciton delocalization in photosynthetic light harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Scholes, Gregory D. Smyth, Cathal

    2014-03-21

    Photosynthetic units perform energy transfer remarkably well under a diverse range of demanding conditions. However, the mechanism of energy transfer, from excitation to conversion, is still not fully understood. Of particular interest is the possible role that coherence plays in this process. In this perspective, we overview photosynthetic light harvesting and discuss consequences of excitons for energy transfer and how delocalization can be assessed. We focus on challenges such as decoherence and nuclear-coordinate dependent delocalization. These approaches complement conventional spectroscopy and delocalization measurement techniques. New broadband transient absorption data may help uncover the difference between electronic and vibrational coherences present in two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy data. We describe how multipartite entanglement from quantum information theory allows us to formulate measures that elucidate the delocalization length of excitation and the details of that delocalization even from highly averaged information such as the density matrix.

  7. Broadband Light Harvesting Nanostructures Robust to Edge Bluntness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yu; Lei, Dang Yuan; Maier, Stefan A.; Pendry, J. B.

    2012-01-01

    Metallic structures with sharp corners harvest the energy of incident light through plasmonic resonances, concentrating it in the corners and greatly increasing the local energy density. Despite its wide array of applications, this effect is normally strongly dependent on how sharp the corners are, presenting problems for fabrication. In this Letter, an analytical approach is proposed, based on transformation optics, to investigate a general class of plasmonic nanostructures with blunt edges or corners. Comprehensive discussions are provided on how the geometry affects the local field enhancement as well as the frequency and energy of each plasmonic resonance. Remarkably, our results evidence the possibility of designing broadband light harvesting devices with an absorption property insensitive to the geometry bluntness.

  8. The dynamics of nacre self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Julyan H.E; Checa, Antonio G

    2006-01-01

    We show how nacre and pearl construction in bivalve and gastropod molluscs can be understood in terms of successive processes of controlled self-assembly from the molecular- to the macro-scale. This dynamics involves the physics of the formation of both solid and liquid crystals and of membranes and fluids to produce a nanostructured hierarchically constructed biological composite of polysaccharides, proteins and mineral, whose mechanical properties far surpass those of its component parts. PMID:17251136

  9. Templated Self Assemble of Nano-Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Suo, Zhigang

    2013-04-29

    This project will identify and model mechanisms that template the self-assembly of nanostructures. We focus on a class of systems involving a two-phase monolayer of molecules adsorbed on a solid surface. At a suitably elevated temperature, the molecules diffuse on the surface to reduce the combined free energy of mixing, phase boundary, elastic field, and electrostatic field. With no template, the phases may form a pattern of stripes or disks. The feature size is on the order of 1-100 nm, selected to compromise the phase boundary energy and the long-range elastic or electrostatic interaction. Both experimental observations and our theoretical simulations have shown that the pattern resembles a periodic lattice, but has abundant imperfections. To form a perfect periodic pattern, or a designed aperiodic pattern, one must introduce a template to guide the assembly. For example, a coarse-scale pattern, lithographically defined on the substrate, will guide the assembly of the nanoscale pattern. As another example, if the molecules on the substrate surface carry strong electric dipoles, a charged object, placed in the space above the monolayer, will guide the assembly of the molecular dipoles. In particular, the charged object can be a mask with a designed nanoscale topographic pattern. A serial process (e.g., e-beam lithography) is necessary to make the mask, but the pattern transfer to the molecules on the substrate is a parallel process. The technique is potentially a high throughput, low cost process to pattern a monolayer. The monolayer pattern itself may serve as a template to fabricate a functional structure. This project will model fundamental aspects of these processes, including thermodynamics and kinetics of self-assembly, templated self-assembly, and self-assembly on unconventional substrates. It is envisioned that the theory will not only explain the available experimental observations, but also motivate new experiments.

  10. Engineering building blocks for self-assembling protein nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Like natural viruses, manmade protein cages for drug delivery are to be ideally formed by repetitive subunits with self-assembling properties, mimicking viral functions and molecular organization. Naturally formed nanostructures (such as viruses, flagella or simpler protein oligomers) can be engineered to acquire specific traits of interest in biomedicine, for instance through the addition of cell targeting agents for desired biodistribution and specific delivery of associated drugs. However, fully artificial constructs would be highly desirable regarding finest tuning and adaptation to precise therapeutic purposes. Although engineering of protein assembling is still in its infancy, arising principles and promising strategies of protein manipulation point out the rational construction of nanoscale protein cages as a feasible concept, reachable through conventional recombinant DNA technologies and microbial protein production. PMID:21192790

  11. Self-assembled tunable photonic hyper-crystals

    PubMed Central

    Smolyaninova, Vera N.; Yost, Bradley; Lahneman, David; Narimanov, Evgenii E.; Smolyaninov, Igor I.

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate a novel artificial optical material, the photonic hyper-crystal, which combines the most interesting features of hyperbolic metamaterials and photonic crystals. Similar to hyperbolic metamaterials, photonic hyper-crystals exhibit broadband divergence in their photonic density of states due to the lack of usual diffraction limit on the photon wave vector. On the other hand, similar to photonic crystals, hyperbolic dispersion law of extraordinary photons is modulated by forbidden gaps near the boundaries of photonic Brillouin zones. Three dimensional self-assembly of photonic hyper-crystals has been achieved by application of external magnetic field to a cobalt nanoparticle-based ferrofluid. Unique spectral properties of photonic hyper-crystals lead to extreme sensitivity of the material to monolayer coatings of cobalt nanoparticles, which should find numerous applications in biological and chemical sensing. PMID:25027947

  12. Engineered Self-Assembly of Plasmonic Nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    A critical need in nanotechnology is the development of new tools and methods to organize, connect, and integrate solid-state nanocomponents. Self-assembly - where components spontaneously organize themselves - can be carried out on a massively parallel scale to construct large-scale architectures using solid-state nanocrystal building blocks. I will present our recent work on the synthesis and self-assembly of nanocrystals for plasmonics, where light is propagated, manipulated, and confined by solid-state components that are smaller than the wavelength of light itself. We show the organization of polymer-grafted metal nanocrystals into hierarchical nanojunction arrays that possess intense ``hot spots'' due to electromagnetic field localization. We also show that doped semiconductor nanocrystals can serve as a new class of plasmonic building blocks, where shape and carrier density can be actively tuned to engineer plasmon resonances. These examples demonstrate that nanocrystals possess unique electromagnetic properties that rival top-down structures, and the potential of self-assembly for fabricating designer plasmonic materials.

  13. Self-assembly of polar food lipids.

    PubMed

    Leser, Martin E; Sagalowicz, Laurent; Michel, Martin; Watzke, Heribert J

    2006-11-16

    Polar lipids, such as monoglycerides and phospholipids, are amphiphilic molecules commonly used as processing and stabilization aids in the manufacturing of food products. As all amphiphilic molecules (surfactants, emulsifiers) they show self-assembly phenomena when added into water above a certain concentration (the critical aggregation concentration). The variety of self-assembly structures that can be formed by polar food lipids is as rich as it is for synthetic surfactants: micelles (normal and reverse micelles), microemulsions, and liquid crystalline phases can be formulated using food-grade ingredients. In the present work we will first discuss microemulsion and liquid crystalline phase formation from ingredients commonly used in food industry. In the last section we will focus on three different potential application fields, namely (i) solubilization of poorly water soluble ingredients, (ii) controlled release, and (iii) chemical reactivity. We will show how the interfacial area present in self-assembly structures can be used for (i) the delivery of functional molecules, (ii) controlling the release of functional molecules, and (iii) modulating the chemical reactivity between reactive molecules, such as aromas. PMID:17045560

  14. Anisotropic Self-Assembly of Nanoparticle Amphiphiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sanat

    2009-03-01

    It is easy to understand the self-assembly of particles having anisotropic shapes or interactions, such as Co nanoparticles or proteins, into highly extended structures. However, there is no experimentally established strategy for creating anisotropic structures from common spherical nanoparticles. We demonstrate that spherical nanoparticles, uniformly grafted with macromolecules, robustly self-assemble into a range of anisotropic superstructures when they are dispersed in the corresponding homopolymer matrix. This phenomenon is driven by the microphase separation between the inorganic nanoparticles and the (organic) polymeric chains grafted to their surfaces in a fashion similar to block copolymers. This microphase separation driven particle self-assembly provides a unique means of controlling the global nanoparticle dispersion state in polymer nanocomposites. The relationship between the state of particle dispersion and nanocomposite properties can thus be critically examined, and in particular we focus on the mechanical reinforcement afforded when particles are added to polymers. Grafted nanoparticles are thus versatile building blocks for creating tunable and functional particle superstructures with significant practical applications. With Pinar Akcora, Hongjun Liu, Yu Li, Brian Benicewicz, Linda Schadler, Thanos Panagiotopoulos, Jack Douglas, P. Thiyagarajan and Ralph Colby.

  15. Self-Assembly of Nanoparticle Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, Michael T.

    Self-assembly utilizes non-covalent forces to organize smaller building blocks into larger, organized structures. Nanoparticles are one type of building block and have gained interest recently due to their unique optical and electrical properties which have proved useful in fields such as energy, catalysis, and advanced materials. There are several techniques currently used to self-assemble nanoparticles, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, we address the limited number of techniques in non-polar solvents by introducing a method utilizing amphiphilic gold nanoparticles. Grafted polymer chains provide steric stabilization while small hydrophilic molecules induce assembly through short range attractive forces. The properties of these self-assembled structures are found to be dependent on the polymer and small molecules surface concentrations and chemistries. These particles act as nanoparticle surfactants and can effectively stabilize oil-water interfaces, such as in an emulsion. In addition to the work in organic solvent, similar amphiphilic particles in aqueous media are shown to effectively stabilize oil-in-water emulsions that show promise as photoacoustic/ultrasound theranostic agents.

  16. Trioctylphosphine as self-assembly inducer.

    PubMed

    Okram, Gunadhor S; Singh, Jaiveer; Kaurav, Netram; Lalla, Niranjan P

    2015-01-01

    Nickel nanoparticles (NPs) of different shapes and sizes in polydispersed as well as monodispersed forms were synthesized using trioctylphosphine (TOP), triphenylphosphine (TPP), oleylamine (OA) and their combinations as surfactants to study their self-assembly inducing capabilities. Randomly agglomerated polydispersed NPs were found for TPP and OA, and TPP or OA separately. However, in consolidation with the earlier report of Singh et al., J. Mater. Chem. C, 2014, 2, 8918, NPs formed using TOP only and a combination of TOP with OA naturally exhibited monodispersed NPs associated with natural nanolattice formation without any other external force or surfactants, demonstrating clearly the self-inducing capacity of TOP into monodispersed NPs and their self-assembled nanolattices. Fourier-transformed infra-red (FTIR) data clearly indicated the capping of these surfactants along with acetylacetonate ligands from nickel acetylacetonate precursor on the surface of the NPs. Remarkably, the narrowest zeta potential (?) base-widths were observed for samples possessing a self-assembled nanolattice, compared to the broader ones for randomly agglomerated particles. PMID:25917190

  17. Designer self-assembling peptide materials.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaojun; Zhang, Shuguang

    2007-01-01

    Understanding of macromolecular materials at the molecular level is becoming increasingly important for a new generation of nanomaterials for nanobiotechnology and other disciplines, namely, the design, synthesis, and fabrication of nanodevices at the molecular scale from bottom up. Basic engineering principles for microfabrication can be learned through fully grasping the molecular self-assembly and programmed assembly phenomena. Self- and programmed-assembly phenomena are ubiquitous in nature. Two key elements in molecular macrobiological material productions are chemical complementarity and structural compatibility, both of which require weak and non-covalent interactions that bring building blocks together during self-assembly. Significant advances have been made during the 1990s at the interface of materials chemistry and biology. They include the design of helical ribbons, peptide nanofiber scaffolds for three-dimensional cell cultures and tissue engineering, peptide surfactants for solubilizing and stabilizing diverse types of membrane proteins and their complexes, and molecular ink peptides for arbitrary printing and coating surfaces as well as coiled-coil helical peptides for multi-length scale fractal structures. These designer self-assembling peptides have far reaching implications in a broad spectrum of applications in biology, medicine, nanobiotechnology, and nanobiomedical technology, some of which are beyond our current imaginations. [image: see text] PMID:17225214

  18. Directed Self-assembly for Lithography Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Joy

    2010-03-01

    Economics dictated that semiconductor devices need to be scaled approximately to 70 percent linearly in order to follow the pace of Moore's law and maintain cost effectiveness. Optical lithography has been the driving force for scaling; however, it approaches its physical limit to print patterns beyond 22nm node. Directed self-assembly (DSA), which combines ``bottom-up'' self-assembled polymers and ``top-down'' lithographically defined substrates, has been considered as a potential candidate to extend optical lithography. Benefit from nanometer-scale self-assembly features and the registration precision of advanced lithography, DSA provides precise and programmable nanopatterns beyond the resolution limit of conventional lithography. We have demonstrated DSA concepts including frequency multiplication and pattern rectification using guiding prepattern with proper chemical and topographical information generated by e-beam lithography. In addition, we seek to integrate DSA with 193 nm optical lithography in a straightforward manner in order to move DSA from the research stage to a viable manufacturing technology. Recently, we implemented various integration strategies using photolithography to produce guiding patterns for DSA. This new ability enables DSA to be applied to large areas with state-of-the-art lithography facilities.

  19. Fractal self-assembly of single-stranded DNA on hydrophobic self-assembled monolayers.

    PubMed

    Xing, Chunyan; Qiao, Haiyan; Li, Yongjun; Ke, Xi; Zhang, Zhe; Zhang, Bailin; Tang, Jilin

    2012-09-27

    The self-assembled structures possess superior stability, biocompatibility and mechanical strength, and their study can provide insight into the use of creating novel biomaterials. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) nanostructures show that well-ordered organization, high homogeneity, and molecular dimensions fractal-shaped fibers formed on a gold substrate covered with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of 1-hexadecanethiol (HDT). The nanoscaled architectures of ssDNA on HDT/Au changed remarkably following the process of diffusion-limited cluster aggregation (DLA) over time. The ssDNA fibers prefer to form on hydrophobic SAMs instead of hydrophilic SAMs, and the ssDNA has to have complementary regions in their sequences. This method might not be used only for the construction of fractal patterns, but also for the design and fabrication of functional DNA-based, self-assembled materials that exhibit self-similarity at multiple length scales. PMID:22954149

  20. Integrated Nanosystems Templated by Self-assembled Virus Capsids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephanopoulos, Nicholas

    This dissertation presents the synthesis and modeling of multicomponent nanosystems templated by self-assembled virus capsids. The design principles, synthesis, analysis, and future directions for these capsid-based materials are presented. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the literature on the application of virus capsids in constructing nanomaterials. The uses of capsids in three main areas are considered: (1) as templates for inorganic materials or nanoparticles; (2) as vehicles for biological applications like medical imaging and treatment; and (3) as scaffolds for catalytic materials. In light of this introduction, an overview of the material in this dissertation is described. Chapters 2-4 all describe integrated nanosystems templated by bacteriophage MS2, a spherical icosahedral virus capsid. MS2 possesses an interior and exterior surface that can be modified orthogonally using bioconjugation chemistry to create multivalent, multicomponent constructs with precise localization of components attached to the capsid proteins. Chapter 2 describes the use of MS2 to synthesize a photocatalytic construct by modifying the internal surface with sensitizing chromophores and the external surface with a photocatalytic porphyrin. The chromophores absorbed energy that the porphyrin could not, and transferred it to the porphyrin via FRET through the protein shell. The porphyrin was then able to utilize the energy to carry out photocatalysis at new wavelengths. In Chapter 3, porphyrins were installed on the interior surface of MS2 and DNA aptamers specific for Jurkat leukemia T cells on the exterior surface. The dual-modified capsids were able to bind to Jurkat cells, and upon illumination the porphyrins generated singlet oxygen to kill them selectively over non-targeted cells. Chapter 4 explores integrating MS2 with DNA origami in order to arrange the capsids at larger length scales. Capsids modified with fluorescent dyes inside and single-stranded DNA outside were able to bind to origami tiles bearing complementary DNA probes. The tiles could then be used to arrange the capsids in a one-dimensional array with dimensions far exceeding those of individual MS2 particles. In Chapter 5, the use of a different capsid, that of the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is described. The defect tolerance of light harvesting systems built using TMV as a scaffold was investigated using a kinetic Monte Carlo model to simulate the energy transfer processes. The results of the simulation were used to understand and explain experimental results obtained from the system.

  1. Characterization of circular differential selective scattering in randomly and magnetically oriented chloroplasts and light harvesting chlorophyll a/b aggregates

    SciTech Connect

    Garab, G.; Faludi-Daniel, A.; Sutherland, J.C.; Hind, G.

    1986-01-01

    Comparative circular dichroism studies were carried out in chloroplasts and the aggregated chlorophyll a/b light harvesting pigment protein complex (LHC). Much of the intense circular dichroism (CD) signal of chloroplasts and that of aggregated, isolated LHC were found to originate in circular differential light scattering (CDS). The difference spectra obtained between the CD spectra of randomly and magnetically oriented thylakoids resembled the selective light scattering spectra of chloroplasts. Furthermore, orientation-dependent changes in the CDS signal outside the principal absorbance bands were correlated with changes in the non-selective forward light scattering. These results provide evidence of a significant contribution by CDS to the CD spectrum of chloroplasts. A comparison between the CD signals of chloroplasts and aggregated LHC revealed that both preparations exhibit ''anomalous'' CD bands. The spectral shape and amplitude of these bands are changed dramatically upon magnetic alignment of the particles. These similarities are suggestive of the existence of similar helical domains in chloroplasts and the isolated LHC aggregate; hence our experimental results support the hypothesis of Faludi-Daniel and Mustardy that the LHC in the thylakoid membrane is aggregated in a liquid crystal-like structure resembling that which self-assembles in vitro. 17 refs., 4 figs.

  2. Experimental studies and numerical simulations on light-harvesting devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagedorn, Kevin V.

    Obtaining high solar energy conversion efficiencies with materials that require minimal processing or refining is critical to next generation light-harvesting systems. Organic dyes and inorganic nanostructured semiconductors are two material types that address this need and are studied herein. Two sets of organic chromophore systems were characterized. First, triarylamine multi-chromophore dendrimers with purposely designed biphenyl-based trap sites were investigated using fluorescence upconversion spectroscopy. A rise in the fluorescence from the biphenyl site after the excitation pulse demonstrated that excitons were trapped with 99% efficiency. These data show that excitons can be directed to a specific site in a molecular chromophore. Separately, thiophene macrocycles were investigated to determine if molecular systems could show high energetic degeneracy. The chromophore coupling constants of two thiophene rings were quantified using time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements. The calculated chromophore coupling constants for the cyclic system were an order of magnitude higher than linear chains. In addition, the cyclic system had a two photon absorption cross section of 1470 GM, which is over a thousand times greater than the linear chain and useful for applications in imaging and lithography. Nanostructured inorganic semiconductors were also the subject of study. In one set of experiments, the first example of macroporous p-GaP(100) was reported and its ability to perform photosynthetic water splitting was demonstrated and assessed. Macroporous films were prepared using a two-electrode cell with a halogen acid electrolyte and pulsed anodic etching voltage waveform. Control over the macroporous film morphology was explored by varying halogen acid type, concentration, and etching voltage. Macroporous p-GaP has applications in photonic and light-harvesting systems. To this end, the relationship between optoelectronic properties and the obtainable solar energy conversion efficiency was determined in nanostructured semiconductors. The photocurrent-potential response of lightly and heavily doped silicon nanowires were quantified, with the heavily doped semiconductors demonstrating superior energy conversion. For low dopant density nanowires, the low energy conversion efficiencies were attributed to a lack of an internal electric field, which resulted in a high majority carrier recombination at the interface. These data provide design principles for efficient solar energy conversion systems based on nanostructured semiconductors.

  3. Self-assembly of magnetic biofunctional nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Sun Xiangcheng; Thode, C.J.; Mabry, J.K.; Harrell, J.W.; Nikles, D.E.; Sun, K.; Wang, L.M.

    2005-05-15

    Spherical, ferromagnetic FePt nanoparticles with a particle size of 3 nm were prepared by the simultaneous polyol reduction of Fe(acac){sub 3} and Pt(acac){sub 2} in phenyl ether in the presence of oleic acid and oleylamine. The oleic acid ligands can be replaced with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid, giving particles that can be dispersed in water. Both x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy indicated that FePt particles were not affected by ligands replacement. Dispersions of the FePt particles with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid ligands and ammonium counter ions gave self-assembled films consisting of highly ordered hexagonal arrays of particles.

  4. Self-assembly of information in networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosvall, M.; Sneppen, K.

    2006-06-01

    We model self-assembly of information in networks to investigate necessary conditions for building a global perception of a system by local communication. Our approach is to let agents chat in a model system to self-organize distant communication pathways. We demonstrate that simple local rules allow agents to build a perception of the system, that is robust to dynamical changes and mistakes. We find that messages are most effectively forwarded in the presence of hubs, while transmission in hub-free networks is more robust against misinformation and failures.

  5. Conceptual, self-assembling graphene nanocontainers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boothroyd, Simon; Anwar, Jamshed

    2015-07-01

    We show that graphene nano-sheets, when appropriately functionalised, can form self-assembling nanocontainers which may be opened or closed using a chemical trigger such as pH or polarity of solvent. Conceptual design rules are presented for different container structures, whose ability to form and encapsulate guest molecules is verified by molecular dynamics simulations. The structural simplicity of the graphene nanocontainers offers considerable scope for scaling the capacity, modulating the nature of the internal environment, and defining the trigger for encapsulation or release of the guest molecule(s). This design study will serve to provide additional impetus to developing synthetic approaches for selective functionalisation of graphene.

  6. Self-assembled nanostructures on vicinal surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrovykh, Dmitri Yourievich

    2000-10-01

    One of the first methods for visualizing crystal planes and atomic steps has been step decoration with gold on alkali-halide surfaces. An impressive body of work has been conducted since then on the role of steps in controlling surface diffusion and adsorption rates, catalytic and chemical activity, and other physical and chemical surface properties. Due to these special characteristics, vicinal surfaces offer an approach for creating self-assembled structures with one or more dimensions on nanometer scale. The storage and communications industries have been revolutionized by applications of two-dimensional electron gas confined in thin films, so an interest in one and zero-dimensional systems is not surprising. This work demonstrates how macroscopic amounts of low-dimensional structures can be produced by self-assembly using stepped surfaces as nanometer-scale templates. High-quality templates of step arrays can be prepared on vicinal Si(111) surfaces. Sub-monolayer CaF2/Si(111) heteroepitaxial growth is examined in a series of experiments. A new growth mode is observed in addition to the ones typical in three dimensions. With increasing coverage, the growth front changes from rough to smooth geometry, driven by the elastic interactions between the multiple growth fronts and the surface steps. The mechanism is thus unique to the two-dimensional growth on stepped surfaces. The possible arrangements of the CaF2 self-assembled nanostructures are arrays of stripes or islands, both interesting as potential masks for silicon nanolithography. Anisotropic surface reconstructions, such as Ca and Au induced 3 x 1 and 5 x 2 on Si(111), are effectively self-assembled one-dimensional atomic chains. Reconstructions are single-domain on vicinal surfaces and with odd electron count a metallic one-dimensional state is expected in both the above examples. However in angular-resolved photoemission both appear as semiconductors, and Au-Si(111)5 x 2 exhibits a continuous one-to-two dimensions transition as a function of binding energy, opening intriguing possibilities of correlated electron effects. Considering increasing recording densities, the nearly-perfect linear arrangement of the heteroepitaxial island arrays and reconstruction features on vicinal surfaces is a notable benefit for possible read-write designs, offering attractive solutions on respectively 1 and 100 Terabit/square inch scales.

  7. Self-assembly of Random Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Li, Longyu; Raghupathi, Kishore; Song, Cunfeng; Prasad, Priyaa; Thayumanavan, S.

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of random copolymers has attracted considerable attention recently. In this feature article, we highlight the use of random copolymers to prepare nanostructures with different morphologies and to prepare nanomaterials that are responsive to single or multiple stimuli. The synthesis of single-chain nanoparticles and their potential applications from random copolymers are also discussed in some detail. We aim to draw more attention to these easily accessible copolymers, which are likely to play an important role in translational polymer research. PMID:25036552

  8. Self-assembling triblock proteins for biofunctional surface modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Stephen E.

    Despite the tremendous promise of cell/tissue engineering, significant challenges remain in engineering functional scaffolds to precisely regulate the complex processes of tissue growth and development. As the point of contact between the cells and the scaffold, the scaffold surface plays a major role in mediating cellular behaviors. In this dissertation, the development and utility of self-assembling, artificial protein hydrogels as biofunctional surface modifiers is described. The design of these recombinant proteins is based on a telechelic triblock motif, in which a disordered polyelectrolyte central domain containing embedded bioactive ligands is flanked by two leucine zipper domains. Under moderate conditions of temperature and pH, the leucine zipper end domains form amphiphilic alpha-helices that reversibly associate into homo-trimeric aggregates, driving hydrogel formation. Moreover, the amphiphilic nature of these helical domains enables surface adsorption to a variety of scaffold materials to form biofunctional protein coatings. The nature and stability of these coatings in various solution conditions, and their interaction with mammalian cells is the primary focus of this dissertation. In particular, triblock protein coatings functionalized with cell recognition sequences are shown to produce well-defined surfaces with precise control over ligand density. The impact of this is demonstrated in multiple cell types through ligand density-dependent cell-substrate interactions. To improve the stability of these physically self-assembled coatings, two covalent crosslinking strategies are described---one in which a zero-length chemical crosslinker (EDC) is utilized and a second in which disulfide bonds are engineered into the recombinant proteins. These targeted crosslinking approaches are shown to increase the stability of surface adsorbed protein layers with minimal effect on the presentation of many bioactive ligands. Finally, to demonstrate the versatility of the triblock protein hydrogels, and the ease of introducing multiple functionalities to a substrate surface, a surface coating is tailored for neural stem cell culture in order to improve proliferation on the scaffold, while maintaining the stem cell phenotype. These studies demonstrate the unique advantages of genetic engineering over traditional techniques for surface modification. In addition to their unmatched sequence fidelity, recombinant proteins can easily be modified with bioactive ligands and their organization into coherent, supramolecular structures mimics natural self-assembly processes.

  9. DNA-Based Oligochromophores as Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Ensslen, Philipp; Brandl, Fabian; Sezi, Sabrina; Varghese, Reji; Kutta, Roger-Jan; Dick, Bernhard; Wagenknecht, Hans-Achim

    2015-06-22

    The chromophores ethynyl pyrene as blue, ethynyl perylene as green and ethynyl Nile red as red emitter were conjugated to the 5-position of 2'-deoxyuridine via an acetylene bridge. Using phosphoramidite chemistry on solid phase labelled DNA duplexes were prepared that bear single chromophore modifications, and binary and ternary combinations of these chromophore modifications. The steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectra of all three chromophores were studied in these modified DNA duplexes. An energy-transfer cascade occurs from ethynyl pyrene over ethynyl perylene to ethynyl Nile red and subsequently an electron-transfer cascade in the opposite direction (from ethynyl Nile red to ethynyl perylene or ethynyl pyrene, but not from ethynyl perylene to ethynyl pyrene). The electron-transfer processes finally provide charge separation. The efficiencies by these energy and electron-transfer processes can be tuned by the distances between the chromophores and the sequences. Most importantly, excitation at any wavelength between 350 and 700?nm finally leads to charge separated states which make these DNA samples promising candidates for light-harvesting systems. PMID:26069203

  10. Excitation migration in fluctuating light-harvesting antenna systems.

    PubMed

    Chmeliov, Jevgenij; Trinkunas, Gediminas; van Amerongen, Herbert; Valkunas, Leonas

    2016-01-01

    Complex multi-exponential fluorescence decay kinetics observed in various photosynthetic systems like photosystem II (PSII) have often been explained by the reversible quenching mechanism of the charge separation taking place in the reaction center (RC) of PSII. However, this description does not account for the intrinsic dynamic disorder of the light-harvesting proteins as well as their fluctuating dislocations within the antenna, which also facilitate the repair of RCs, state transitions, and the process of non-photochemical quenching. Since dynamic fluctuations result in varying connectivity between pigment-protein complexes, they can also lead to non-exponential excitation decay kinetics. Based on this presumption, we have recently proposed a simple conceptual model describing excitation diffusion in a continuous medium and accounting for possible variations of the excitation transfer pathways. In the current work, this model is further developed and then applied to describe fluorescence kinetics originating from very diverse antenna systems, ranging from PSII of various sizes to LHCII aggregates and even the entire thylakoid membrane. In all cases, complex multi-exponential fluorescence kinetics are perfectly reproduced on the entire relevant time scale without assuming any radical pair equilibration at the side of the excitation quencher, but using just a few parameters reflecting the mean excitation energy transfer rate as well as the overall average organization of the photosynthetic antenna. PMID:25605669

  11. Multiscale model of light harvesting by photosystem II in plants.

    PubMed

    Amarnath, Kapil; Bennett, Doran I G; Schneider, Anna R; Fleming, Graham R

    2016-02-01

    The first step of photosynthesis in plants is the absorption of sunlight by pigments in the antenna complexes of photosystem II (PSII), followed by transfer of the nascent excitation energy to the reaction centers, where long-term storage as chemical energy is initiated. Quantum mechanical mechanisms must be invoked to explain the transport of excitation within individual antenna. However, it is unclear how these mechanisms influence transfer across assemblies of antenna and thus the photochemical yield at reaction centers in the functional thylakoid membrane. Here, we model light harvesting at the several-hundred-nanometer scale of the PSII membrane, while preserving the dominant quantum effects previously observed in individual complexes. We show that excitation moves diffusively through the antenna with a diffusion length of 50 nm until it reaches a reaction center, where charge separation serves as an energetic trap. The diffusion length is a single parameter that incorporates the enhancing effect of excited state delocalization on individual rates of energy transfer as well as the complex kinetics that arise due to energy transfer and loss by decay to the ground state. The diffusion length determines PSII's high quantum efficiency in ideal conditions, as well as how it is altered by the membrane morphology and the closure of reaction centers. We anticipate that the model will be useful in resolving the nonphotochemical quenching mechanisms that PSII employs in conditions of high light stress. PMID:26787911

  12. Allostery in molecular self-assemblies: metal ions triggered self-assembly and emissions of terthiophene.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuai; Zhao, Li; Xiao, Yunlong; Huang, Tian; Li, Jie; Huang, Jianbin; Yan, Yun

    2016-04-01

    Binding of metal ions to the head of a coordinating amphiphile TTC4L substantially changes the emission color of the terthiophene group attached to the chain end via a conformation triggered self-assembly. This is in analogy with the allostery of proteins in which binding a ligand to one site may affect its performance at another site through conformational change. PMID:26871753

  13. On-chip self-assembly of cell embedded microstructures to vascular-like microtubes.

    PubMed

    Yue, Tao; Nakajima, Masahiro; Takeuchi, Masaru; Hu, Chengzhi; Huang, Qiang; Fukuda, Toshio

    2014-03-21

    Currently, research on the construction of vascular-like tubular structures is a hot area of tissue engineering, since it has potential applications in the building of artificial blood vessels. In this paper, we report a fluidic self-assembly method using cell embedded microstructures to construct vascular-like microtubes. A novel 4-layer microfluidic device was fabricated using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which contains fabrication, self-assembly and extraction areas inside one channel. Cell embedded microstructures were directly fabricated using poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) in the fabrication area, namely on-chip fabrication. Self-assembly of the fabricated microstructures was performed in the assembly area which has a micro well. Assembled tubular structures (microtubes) were extracted outside the channel into culture dishes using a normally closed (NC) micro valve in the extraction area. The self-assembly mechanism was experimentally demonstrated. The performance of the NC micro valve and embedded cell concentration were both evaluated. Fibroblast (NIH/3T3) embedded vascular-like microtubes were constructed inside this reusable microfluidic device. PMID:24472895

  14. Construction of a smart microgel glutathione peroxidase mimic based on supramolecular self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yanzhen; Jiao, Shufei; Zhang, Ruirui; Hu, Xiaoxi; Shi, Zhongfeng; Huang, Zuqiang

    2015-07-14

    In an effort to construct smart artificial glutathione peroxidase (GPx) featuring high catalytic activity in an efficient preparation process, an artificial microgel GPx (PPAM-ADA-Te) has been prepared using a supramolecular host-guest self-assembly technique. Herein, 6,6'-telluro-bis(6-deoxy-β-cyclodextrin) (CD-Te-CD) was selected as a tellurium-containing host molecule, which also served as the crosslinker for the scaffold of the supramolecular microgel. And an adamantane-containing block copolymer (PPAM-ADA) was designed and synthesized as a guest building block copolymer. Subsequently, PPAM-ADA-Te was constructed through the self-assembly of CD-Te-CD and PPAM-ADA. The formation of this self-assembled construct was confirmed by dynamic light scattering, NMR, SEM and TEM. Notably, PPAM-ADA-Te not only exhibits a significant temperature responsive catalytic activity, but also features the characteristic saturation kinetics behaviour similar to that of a natural enzyme catalyst. We demonstrate in this paper that both the hydrophobic microenvironment and the crosslinker in this supramolecular microgel network played significant roles in enhancing and altering the temperature responsive catalytic behaviour. The successful construction of PPAM-ADA-Te not only provides a novel method for the preparation of microgel artificial GPx with high catalytic activity but also provides properties suitable for the future development of intelligent antioxidant drugs. PMID:26053236

  15. Self-assembled Nanofibrils for Immunomodulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Fan

    This thesis has been mainly focused on applying self-assembled nanofibrils as unique depots for controlled release to modulate immune system, with two major chapters on modulation of innate immunity in chapter 2 and adaptive immunity in chapter 3, respectively. There are 5 chapters in the thesis. Chapter 1 gives a detailed review on the discovery, synthesis and application of self-assembled nanofibrils of therapeutic agents (termed as "self-delivery drugs"), including bioactive molecules; Chapter 2 demonstrates the supramolecular hydrogel of chemotactic peptides as a prolonged inflammation model through proper molecular engineering; Chapter 3 reports a suppressive antibody response achieved by encapsulation of antigens by supramolecular hydrogel of glycopeptide; Chapter 4 illustrates an example of supramolecular hydrogel formation of molecules with extremely low solubility, based on the fact that many small organic drugs have poor solubility. Chapter 5 used beta-galatosidase as a model to study glycosidase-instructed supramolecular hydrogel formation, with potential to target cancer cells due to their distinct metabolic profile.

  16. Self-assembled virus-membrane complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Lihua; Liang, Hongjun; Angelini, Thomas; Butler, John; Coridan, Robert; Tang, Jay; Wong, Gerard

    2010-11-16

    Anionic polyelectrolytes and cationic lipid membranes can self-assemble into lamellar structures ranging from alternating layers of membranes and polyelectrolytes to 'missing layer' superlattice structures. We show that these structural differences can be understood in terms of the surface-charge-density mismatch between the polyelectrolyte and membrane components by examining complexes between cationic membranes and highly charged M13 viruses, a system that allowed us to vary the polyelectrolyte diameter independently of the charge density. Such virus-membrane complexes have pore sizes that are about ten times larger in area than DNA-membrane complexes, and can be used to package and organize large functional molecules; correlated arrays of Ru(bpy){sub 3}{sup 2+} macroionic dyes have been directly observed within the virus-membrane complexes using an electron-density reconstruction. These observations elucidate fundamental design rules for rational control of self-assembled polyelectrolyte-membrane structures, which have applications ranging from non-viral gene therapy to biomolecular templates for nanofabrication.

  17. Directed Self-Assembly: Expectations and Achievements

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology has been a revolutionary thrust in recent years of development of science and technology for its broad appeal for employing a novel idea for relevant technological applications in particular and for mass-scale production and marketing as common man commodity in general. An interesting aspect of this emergent technology is that it involves scientific research community and relevant industries alike. Topdown and bottomup approaches are two broad division of production of nanoscale materials in general. However, both the approaches have their own limits as far as large-scale production and cost involved are concerned. Therefore, novel new techniques are desired to be developed to optimize production and cost. Directed self-assembly seems to be a promising technique in this regard; which can work as a bridge between the topdown and bottomup approaches. This article reviews how directed self-assembly as a technique has grown up and outlines its future prospects. PMID:20730077

  18. Triggered self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Ye, L; Pearson, T; Cordeau, Y; Mefford, O T; Crawford, T M

    2016-01-01

    Colloidal magnetic nanoparticles are candidates for application in biology, medicine and nanomanufac-turing. Understanding how these particles interact collectively in fluids, especially how they assemble and aggregate under external magnetic fields, is critical for high quality, safe, and reliable deployment of these particles. Here, by applying magnetic forces that vary strongly over the same length scale as the colloidal stabilizing force and then varying this colloidal repulsion, we can trigger self-assembly of these nanoparticles into parallel line patterns on the surface of a disk drive medium. Localized within nanometers of the medium surface, this effect is strongly dependent on the ionic properties of the colloidal fluid but at a level too small to cause bulk colloidal aggregation. We use real-time optical diffraction to monitor the dynamics of self-assembly, detecting local colloidal changes with greatly enhanced sensitivity compared with conventional light scattering. Simulations predict the triggering but not the dynamics, especially at short measurement times. Beyond using spatially-varying magnetic forces to balance interactions and drive assembly in magnetic nanoparticles, future measurements leveraging the sensitivity of this approach could identify novel colloidal effects that impact real-world applications of these nanoparticles. PMID:26975332

  19. Directed Self-Assembly: Expectations and Achievements.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prashant

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology has been a revolutionary thrust in recent years of development of science and technology for its broad appeal for employing a novel idea for relevant technological applications in particular and for mass-scale production and marketing as common man commodity in general. An interesting aspect of this emergent technology is that it involves scientific research community and relevant industries alike. Top-down and bottom-up approaches are two broad division of production of nanoscale materials in general. However, both the approaches have their own limits as far as large-scale production and cost involved are concerned. Therefore, novel new techniques are desired to be developed to optimize production and cost. Directed self-assembly seems to be a promising technique in this regard; which can work as a bridge between the top-down and bottom-up approaches. This article reviews how directed self-assembly as a technique has grown up and outlines its future prospects. PMID:20730077

  20. Triggered self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Ye, L.; Pearson, T.; Cordeau, Y.; Mefford, O. T.; Crawford, T. M.

    2016-01-01

    Colloidal magnetic nanoparticles are candidates for application in biology, medicine and nanomanufac-turing. Understanding how these particles interact collectively in fluids, especially how they assemble and aggregate under external magnetic fields, is critical for high quality, safe, and reliable deployment of these particles. Here, by applying magnetic forces that vary strongly over the same length scale as the colloidal stabilizing force and then varying this colloidal repulsion, we can trigger self-assembly of these nanoparticles into parallel line patterns on the surface of a disk drive medium. Localized within nanometers of the medium surface, this effect is strongly dependent on the ionic properties of the colloidal fluid but at a level too small to cause bulk colloidal aggregation. We use real-time optical diffraction to monitor the dynamics of self-assembly, detecting local colloidal changes with greatly enhanced sensitivity compared with conventional light scattering. Simulations predict the triggering but not the dynamics, especially at short measurement times. Beyond using spatially-varying magnetic forces to balance interactions and drive assembly in magnetic nanoparticles, future measurements leveraging the sensitivity of this approach could identify novel colloidal effects that impact real-world applications of these nanoparticles. PMID:26975332

  1. Self-Assembly of Gemini Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yethiraj, Arun; Mondal, Jagannath; Mahanthappa, Mahesh

    2013-03-01

    The self-assembly behavior of Gemini (dimeric or twin-tail) dicarboxylate disodium surfactants is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. This gemini architecture, in which two single tailed surfactants are joined through a flexible hydrophobic linker, has been shown to exhibit concentration-dependent aqueous self-assembly into lyotropic phases including hexagonal, gyroid, and lamellar morphologies. Our simulations reproduce the experimentally observed phases at similar amphiphile concentrations in water, including the unusual ability of these surfactants to form gyroid phases over unprecedentedly large amphiphile concentration windows. We demonstrate quanitative agreement between the predicted and experimentally observed domain spacings of these nanostructured materials. Through careful conformation analyses of the surfactant molecules, we show that the gyroid phase is electrostatically stabilized related to the lamellar phase. By starting with a lamellar phase, we show that decreasing the charge on the surfactant headgroups by carboxylate protonation or use of a bulkier tetramethyl ammonium counterion in place of sodium drives the formation of a gyroid phase.

  2. Self-Assemblies of novel molecules, VECAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Bijay; Kim, Hye-Young; Lee, Soojin; Novak, Brian; Moldovan, Dorel

    2015-03-01

    VECAR is a newly synthesized molecule, which is an amphiphilic antioxidant molecule that consists of two molecular groups, vitamin-E and Carnosine, linked by a hydrocarbon chain. The hydrocarbon chain is hydrophobic and both vitamin-E and Carnosine ends are hydrophilic. In the synthesis process, the length of the hydrophobic chain of VECAR molecules can vary from the shortest (n =0) to the longest (n =18), where n indicates the number of carbon atoms in the chain. We conducted MD simulation studies of self-assembly of VECAR molecules in water using GROMACS on LONI HPC resources. Our study shows that there is a strong correlation between the shape and atomistic structure of the self-assembled nano-structures (SANs) and the chain-length (n) of VECAR molecules. We will report the results of data analyses including the atomistic structure of each SANs and the dynamic and energetic mechanisms of their formation as function of time. In summary, both VECAR molecules of chain-length n =18 and 9 form worm-like micelles, which may be used as a drug delivery system. This research is supported by the Louisiana Board of Regents-RCS Grant (LEQSF(2012-15)-RD-A-19).

  3. Quantifying quality in DNA self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenbauer, Klaus F.; Wachauf, Christian H.; Dietz, Hendrik

    2014-04-01

    Molecular self-assembly with DNA is an attractive route for building nanoscale devices. The development of sophisticated and precise objects with this technique requires detailed experimental feedback on the structure and composition of assembled objects. Here we report a sensitive assay for the quality of assembly. The method relies on measuring the content of unpaired DNA bases in self-assembled DNA objects using a fluorescent de-Bruijn probe for three-base codons, which enables a comparison with the designed content of unpaired DNA. We use the assay to measure the quality of assembly of several multilayer DNA origami objects and illustrate the use of the assay for the rational refinement of assembly protocols. Our data suggests that large and complex objects like multilayer DNA origami can be made with high strand integration quality up to 99%. Beyond DNA nanotechnology, we speculate that the ability to discriminate unpaired from paired nucleic acids in the same macromolecule may also be useful for analysing cellular nucleic acids.

  4. Micropatterning of bioactive self-assembling gels

    PubMed Central

    Mata, Alvaro; Hsu, Lorraine; Capito, Ramille; Aparicio, Conrado; Henrikson, Karl

    2009-01-01

    Microscale topographical features have been known to affect cell behavior. An important target in this area is to integrate top down techniques with bottom up self-assembly to create three-dimensional (3D) patterned bioactive mimics of extracellular matrices. We report a novel approach toward this goal and demonstrate its use to study the behavior of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). By incorporating polymerizable acetylene groups in the hydrophobic segment of peptide amphiphiles (PAs), we were able to micro-pattern nanofiber gels of these bioactive materials. PAs containing the cell adhesive epitope arginineglycineaspartic acidserine (RGDS) were allowed to self-assemble within microfabricated molds to create networks of either randomly oriented or aligned ~30 nm diameter nanofiber bundles that were shaped into topographical patterns containing holes, posts, or channels up to 8 ?m in height and down to 5 ?m in lateral dimensions. When topographical patterns contained nanofibers aligned through flow prior to gelation, the majority of hMSCs aligned in the direction of the nanofibers even in the presence of hole microtextures and more than a third of them maintained this alignment when encountering perpendicular channel microtextures. Interestingly, in topographical patterns with randomly oriented nanofibers, osteoblastic differentiation was enhanced on hole microtextures compared to all other surfaces. PMID:20047022

  5. Metal induced self-assembly of designed V-shape protein into 2D wavy supramolecular nanostructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, S. P.; Lang, C.; Wang, R. D.; Li, X. M.; Yan, T. F.; Pan, T. Z.; Zhao, L. L.; Fan, X. T.; Zhang, X.; Hou, C. X.; Luo, Q.; Xu, J. Y.; Liu, J. Q.

    2015-12-01

    In order to understand and imitate the more complex bio-processes and fascinating functions in nature, protein self-assembly has been studied and has attracted more and more interest in recent years. Artificial self-assemblies of proteins have been constructed through many strategies. However, the design of complicated protein self-assemblies utilizing the special profile of building blocks remains a challenge. We herein report linear and 2D nanostructures constructed from a V shape SMAC protein and induced by metal coordination. Zigzag nanowires and wavy 2D nanostructures have been demonstrated by AFM and TEM. The zigzag nanowires can translate to a 2D nanostructure with an excess of metal ions, which reveals the step by step assembly process. Fluorescence and UV/Vis spectra have also been obtained to further study the mechanism and process of self-assembly. Upon the protein nanostructure, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) could also be detected using fluorescein modified proteins as building blocks. This article provides an approach for designing and controlling self-assembled protein nanostructures with a distinctive topological morphology.In order to understand and imitate the more complex bio-processes and fascinating functions in nature, protein self-assembly has been studied and has attracted more and more interest in recent years. Artificial self-assemblies of proteins have been constructed through many strategies. However, the design of complicated protein self-assemblies utilizing the special profile of building blocks remains a challenge. We herein report linear and 2D nanostructures constructed from a V shape SMAC protein and induced by metal coordination. Zigzag nanowires and wavy 2D nanostructures have been demonstrated by AFM and TEM. The zigzag nanowires can translate to a 2D nanostructure with an excess of metal ions, which reveals the step by step assembly process. Fluorescence and UV/Vis spectra have also been obtained to further study the mechanism and process of self-assembly. Upon the protein nanostructure, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) could also be detected using fluorescein modified proteins as building blocks. This article provides an approach for designing and controlling self-assembled protein nanostructures with a distinctive topological morphology. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental details, circular dichroism spectra, dynamic light scattering, additional AFM images and fluorescence spectra. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr06378g

  6. Bio-inspired supramolecular self-assembly towards soft nanomaterials

    PubMed Central

    LIN, Yiyang; MAO, Chuanbin

    2011-01-01

    Supramolecular self-assembly has proven to be a reliable approach towards versatile nanomaterials based on multiple weak intermolecular forces. In this review, the development of bio-inspired supramolecular self-assembly into soft materials and their applications are summarized. Molecular systems used in bio-inspired bottom-up self-assembly involve small organic molecules, peptides or proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses. Self-assembled soft nanomaterials have been exploited in various applications such as inorganic nanomaterial synthesis, drug or gene delivery, tissue engineering, and so on. PMID:21980594

  7. Self-assembled palladium nanowires by electroless deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zhongliang; Wu, Shanqiang; Szpunar, Jerzy A.

    2006-05-01

    A simple approach to the self-assembly production of palladium nanowires by electroless deposition on a porous stainless steel template is reported. Various arrays of self-assembled palladium nanowires in the form of single wire, parallel and curved wires, intersections and network structures are illustrated. This experimental result demonstrates that metal nanowires can be built in a self-assembled manner by the assembly of nanoparticles generated in the initial stages of the deposition without any external field except the chemical reaction. Such self-assembled nanowires may attract engineering applications because the electroless deposition process and the preparation of the substrate are simple and inexpensive.

  8. Self-assembled software and method of overriding software execution

    SciTech Connect

    Bouchard, Ann M.; Osbourn, Gordon C.

    2013-01-08

    A computer-implemented software self-assembled system and method for providing an external override and monitoring capability to dynamically self-assembling software containing machines that self-assemble execution sequences and data structures. The method provides an external override machine that can be introduced into a system of self-assembling machines while the machines are executing such that the functionality of the executing software can be changed or paused without stopping the code execution and modifying the existing code. Additionally, a monitoring machine can be introduced without stopping code execution that can monitor specified code execution functions by designated machines and communicate the status to an output device.

  9. Optically nonlinear energy transfer in light-harvesting dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Andrews, David L; Bradshaw, David S

    2004-08-01

    Dendrimeric polymers are the subject of intense research activity geared towards their implementation in nanodevice applications such as energy harvesting systems, organic light-emitting diodes, photosensitizers, low-threshold lasers, and quantum logic elements, etc. A recent development in this area has been the construction of dendrimers specifically designed to exhibit novel forms of optical nonlinearity, exploiting the unique properties of these materials at high levels of photon flux. Starting from a thorough treatment of the underlying theory based on the principles of molecular quantum electrodynamics, it is possible to identify and characterize several optically nonlinear mechanisms for directed energy transfer and energy pooling in multichromophore dendrimers. Such mechanisms fall into two classes: first, those where two-photon absorption by individual donors is followed by transfer of the net energy to an acceptor; second, those where the excitation of two electronically distinct but neighboring donor groups is followed by a collective migration of their energy to a suitable acceptor. Each transfer process is subject to minor dissipative losses. In this paper we describe in detail the balance of factors and the constraints that determines the favored mechanism, which include the excitation statistics, structure of the energy levels, laser coherence factors, chromophore selection rules and architecture, possibilities for the formation of delocalized excitons, spectral overlap, and the overall distribution of donors and acceptors. Furthermore, it transpires that quantum interference between different mechanisms can play an important role. Thus, as the relative importance of each mechanism determines the relevant nanophotonic characteristics, the results reported here afford the means for optimizing highly efficient light-harvesting dendrimer devices. PMID:15260800

  10. Light-Harvesting Function in the Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum1

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Thomas G.

    1986-01-01

    The distribution of excitation energy between photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII) was investigated in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bohlin) using light-induced changes in fluorescence yield and rate of modulated O2 evolution. The intensity dependence of the fast fluorescence rise in dark adapted cells (DCMU) suggests that light absorbed by the major antenna complex was not delivered preferentially to PSII but is more equally distributed between the photosystems. Reversible, slow fluorescence yield changes measured in the absence of DCMU were correlated with decreased initial fluorescence and rate constants for PSII photochemistry, increased variable fluorescence, alteration of the fluorescence excitation and emission spectra, and could be effected by either 510 nm (PSII) or 704 nm (PSI) light. Slow, reversible fluorescence yield changes were also observed in the presence of DCMU, but were characterized by a loss of both initial and variable fluorescence and could not be induced by PSI light. The absence of slow changes in the yield of fluorescence and rate of modulated O2 evolution, following addition or removal of PSI background light to modulated PSII excitation, does not support regulation of excitation energy density in PSI at the expense of PSII. The results suggest that adjustments are made at the level of excitation energy transfer to the PSII reaction center which prevent prolonged loss of photosynthetic capacity. Energy distribution is regulated by ionic distributions independently of the plastoquinone pool redox state. These differences in light-harvesting function are probably a response to the aquatic light field and may account for the success of diatoms in low and variable light environments. PMID:16664695

  11. Light Harvesting Proteins for Solar Fuel Generation in Bioengineered Photoelectrochemical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used. PMID:24678669

  12. Fabrication of bioinspired nanostructured materials via colloidal self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wei-Han

    Through millions of years of evolution, nature creates unique structures and materials that exhibit remarkable performance on mechanicals, opticals, and physical properties. For instance, nacre (mother of pearl), bone and tooth show excellent combination of strong minerals and elastic proteins as reinforced materials. Structured butterfly's wing and moth's eye can selectively reflect light or absorb light without dyes. Lotus leaf and cicada's wing are superhydrophobic to prevent water accumulation. The principles of particular biological capabilities, attributed to the highly sophisticated structures with complex hierarchical designs, have been extensively studied. Recently, a large variety of novel materials have been enabled by natural-inspired designs and nanotechnologies. These advanced materials will have huge impact on practical applications. We have utilized bottom-up approaches to fabricate nacre-like nanocomposites with "brick and mortar" structures. First, we used self-assembly processes, including convective self-assembly, dip-coating, and electrophoretic deposition to form well oriented layer structure of synthesized gibbsite (aluminum hydroxide) nanoplatelets. Low viscous monomer was permeated into layered nanoplatelets and followed by photo-curing. Gibbsite-polymer composite displays 2 times higher tensile strength and 3 times higher modulus when compared with pure polymer. More improvement occurred when surface-modified gibbsite platelets were cross-linked with the polymer matrix. We observed ˜4 times higher strength and nearly 1 order of magnitude higher modulus than pure polymer. To further improve the mechanical strength and toughness of inorganicorganic nanocomposites, we exploited ultrastrong graphene oxide (GO), a single atom thick hexagonal carbon sheet with pendant oxidation groups. GO nanocomposite is made by co-filtrating GO/polyvinyl alcohol suspension on 0.2 im pore-sized membrane. It shows ˜2 times higher strength and ˜15 times higher ultimate strains than nacre and pure GO paper (also synthesized by filtration). Specifically, it exhibits ˜30 times higher fracture energy than filtrated graphene paper and nacre, ˜100 times tougher than filtrated GO paper. Besides reinforced nanocomposites, we further explored the self-assembly of spherical colloids and the templating nanofabrication of moth-eye-inspired broadband antireflection coatings. Binary crystalline structures can be easily accomplished by spin-coating double-layer nonclose-packed colloidal crystals as templates, followed by colloidal templating. The polymer matrix between self-assembled colloidal crystal has been used as a sacrificial template to define the resulting periodic binary nanostructures, including intercalated arrays of silica spheres and polymer posts, gold nanohole arrays with binary sizes, and dimple-nipple antireflection coatings. The binary-structured antireflection coatings exhibit better antireflective properties than unitary coatings. Natural optical structures and nanocomposites teach us a great deal on how to create high performance artificial materials. The bottom-up technologies developed in this thesis are scalable and compatible with standard industrial processes, promising for manufacturing high-performance materials for the benefits of human beings.

  13. Strong antenna-enhanced fluorescence of a single light-harvesting complex shows photon antibunching

    PubMed Central

    Wientjes, Emilie; Renger, Jan; Curto, Alberto G.; Cogdell, Richard; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2014-01-01

    The nature of the highly efficient energy transfer in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes is a subject of intense research. Unfortunately, the low fluorescence efficiency and limited photostability hampers the study of individual light-harvesting complexes at ambient conditions. Here we demonstrate an over 500-fold fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) at the single-molecule level by coupling to a gold nanoantenna. The resonant antenna produces an excitation enhancement of circa 100 times and a fluorescence lifetime shortening to ~\

  14. Magnetic self-assembly of small parts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shetye, Sheetal B.

    Modern society's propensity for miniaturized end-user products is compelling electronic manufacturers to assemble and package different micro-scale, multi-technology components in more efficient and cost-effective manners. As the size of the components gets smaller, issues such as part sticking and alignment precision create challenges that slow the throughput of conventional robotic pick-n-place systems. As an alternative, various self-assembly approaches have been proposed to manipulate micro to millimeter scale components in a parallel fashion without human or robotic intervention. In this dissertation, magnetic self-assembly (MSA) is demonstrated as a highly efficient, completely parallel process for assembly of millimeter scale components. MSA is achieved by integrating permanent micromagnets onto component bonding surfaces using wafer-level microfabrication processes. Embedded bonded powder methods are used for fabrication of the magnets. The magnets are then magnetized using pulse magnetization methods, and the wafers are then singulated to form individual components. When the components are randomly mixed together, self-assembly occurs when the intermagnetic forces overcome the mixing forces. Analytical and finite element methods (FEM) are used to study the force interactions between the micromagnets. The multifunctional aspects of MSA are presented through demonstration of part-to-part and part-to-substrate assembly of 1 mm x 1mm x 0.5 mm silicon components. Part-to-part assembly is demonstrated by batch assembly of free-floating parts in a liquid environment with the assembly yield of different magnetic patterns varying from 88% to 90% in 20 s. Part-to-substrate assembly is demonstrated by assembling an ordered array onto a fixed substrate in a dry environment with the assembly yield varying from 86% to 99%. In both cases, diverse magnetic shapes/patterns are used to control the alignment and angular orientation of the components. A mathematical model is used to characterize part-to-substrate MSA. It is shown that the assembly rate and the yield are most dependent on the rotational symmetry of the magnet pattern. Simultaneous and sequential heterogeneous assembly of two types of parts with selective bonding is also demonstrated, with the average assembly yield of 93% in 60 s and 99% in 3.5 min respectively. Finally, MSA with functional electrical interconnects is also demonstrated with a yield of 90.5%.

  15. Metal-Directed Protein Self Assembly

    PubMed Central

    SALGADO, ERIC N.; RADFORD, ROBERT J.

    2010-01-01

    CONSPECTUS Proteins are Natures premier building blocks for constructing sophisticated nanoscale architectures that carry out complex tasks and chemical transformations. It is estimated that 7080% of all proteins are permanently oligomeric, that is, they are composed of multiple proteins that are held together in precise spatial organization through non-covalent interactions. While it is of great fundamental interest to understand the physicochemical basis of protein self-assembly, the mastery of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) would also allow access to novel biomaterials using Natures favorite and most versatile building block. With this possibility in mind, we have developed a new approach, Metal Directed Protein Self-Assembly (MDPSA), which utilizes the strength, directionality and selectivity of metal-ligand interactions to control PPIs. At its core, MDPSA is inspired by supramolecular coordination chemistry which exploits metal coordination for the self-assembly of small molecules into discrete, more-or-less predictable higher-order structures. Proteins, however, are not exactly small molecules or simple metal ligands: they feature extensive, heterogeneous surfaces that can interact with each other and with metal ions in unpredictable ways. We will start this Account by first describing the challenges of using entire proteins as molecular building blocks. This will be followed by our work on a model protein (cytochrome cb562) to both highlight and overcome those challenges toward establishing some ground rules for MDPSA. Proteins are also Natures metal ligands of choice. In MDPSA, once metal ions guide proteins into forming large assemblies, they are by definition embedded within extensive interfaces formed between protein surfaces. These complex surfaces make an inorganic chemists life somewhat difficult, yet they also provide a wide platform to modulate the metal coordination environment through distant, non-covalent interactions exactly as natural metalloproteins and enzymes do. We will describe our computational and experimental efforts on restructuring the non-covalent interaction network formed between proteins surrounding the interfacial metal centers. This approach of metal templating followed by the redesign of protein interfaces (Metal-Templated Interface Redesign, MeTIR) not only provides a route to engineer de novo PPIs and novel metal coordination environments, but also carries possible parallels to the evolution of metalloproteins. PMID:20192262

  16. Electrostatic theory of viral self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Tao; Zhang, Rui; Shklovskii, B. I.

    2008-05-01

    Viruses self-assemble from identical capsid proteins and their genome consisting, for example, of a long single stranded (ss) RNA. For a big class of T=3 viruses, capsid proteins have long positive N-terminal tails. We explore the role played by the Coulomb interaction between the brush of positive N-terminal tails rooted at the inner surface of the capsid and the negative ss RNA molecule. We show that viruses are most stable when the total contour length of ss RNA is close to the total length of the tails. For such a structure the absolute value of the total RNA charge is approximately twice as large as the charge of the capsid. This conclusion agrees with structural data.

  17. Self-assembling multimeric nucleic acid constructs

    DOEpatents

    Cantor, C.R.; Niemeyer, C.M.; Smith, C.L.; Sano, Takeshi; Hnatowich, D.J.; Rusckowski, M.

    1996-10-01

    The invention is directed to constructs and compositions containing multimeric forms of nucleic acid. Multimeric nucleic acids comprise single-stranded nucleic acids attached via biotin to streptavidin and bound with a functional group. These constructs can be utilized in vivo to treat or identify diseased tissue or cells. Repeated administrations of multimeric nucleic acid compositions produce a rapid and specific amplification of nucleic acid constructs and their attached functional groups. For treatment purposes, functional groups may be toxins, radioisotopes, genes or enzymes. Diagnostically, labeled multimeric constructs may be used to identify specific targets in vivo or in vitro. Multimeric nucleic acids may also be used in nanotechnology and to create self-assembling polymeric aggregates such as membranes of defined porosity, microcircuits and many other products. 5 figs.

  18. Supramolecular self-assemblies as functional nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busseron, Eric; Ruff, Yves; Moulin, Emilie; Giuseppone, Nicolas

    2013-07-01

    In this review, we survey the diversity of structures and functions which are encountered in advanced self-assembled nanomaterials. We highlight their flourishing implementations in three active domains of applications: biomedical sciences, information technologies, and environmental sciences. Our main objective is to provide the reader with a concise and straightforward entry to this broad field by selecting the most recent and important research articles, supported by some more comprehensive reviews to introduce each topic. Overall, this compilation illustrates how, based on the rules of supramolecular chemistry, the bottom-up approach to design functional objects at the nanoscale is currently producing highly sophisticated materials oriented towards a growing number of applications with high societal impact.

  19. Self-assembled magnetic surface swimmers.

    SciTech Connect

    Snezhko, A.; Belkin, M.; Aranson, I. S.; Kwok, W.-K.; Materials Science Division; Illinois Inst. of Tech.

    2009-03-20

    We report studies of novel self-assembled magnetic surface swimmers (magnetic snakes) formed from a dispersion of magnetic microparticles at a liquid-air interface and energized by an alternating magnetic field. We show that under certain conditions the snakes spontaneously break the symmetry of surface flows and turn into self-propelled objects. Parameters of the driving magnetic field tune the propulsion velocity of these snakelike swimmers. We find that the symmetry of the surface flows can also be broken in a controlled fashion by attaching a large bead to a magnetic snake (bead-snake hybrid), transforming it into a self-locomoting entity. The observed phenomena have been successfully described by a phenomenological model based on the amplitude equation for surface waves coupled to a large-scale hydrodynamic mean flow equation.

  20. Pseudotannins self-assembled into antioxidant complexes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, H A; Drinnan, C T; Pleshko, N; Fisher, O Z

    2015-10-21

    Natural tannins are attractive as building blocks for biomaterials due to their antioxidant properties and ability to form interpolymer complexes (IPCs) with other macromolecules. One of the major challenges to tannin usage in biomedical applications is their instability at physiological conditions and a lack of control over the purity and reactivity. Herein, we report the synthesis and characterization of tannin-like polymers with controlled architecture, reactivity, and size. These pseudotannins were synthesized by substituting linear dextran chains with gallic, resorcylic, and protocatechuic pendant groups to mimic the structure of natural hydrolysable tannins. We demonstrate that these novel materials can self-assemble to form reductive and colloidally stable nanoscale and microscale particles. Specifically, the synthesis, turbidity, particle size, antioxidant power, and cell uptake of IPCs derived from pseudotannins and poly(ethylene glycol) was evaluated. PMID:26313262

  1. Self-assembling multimeric nucleic acid constructs

    DOEpatents

    Cantor, Charles R.; Niemeyer, Christof M.; Smith, Cassandra L.; Sano, Takeshi; Hnatowich, Donald J.; Rusckowski, Mary

    1996-01-01

    The invention is directed to constructs and compositions containing multimeric forms of nucleic acid. Multimeric nucleic acids comprise single-stranded nucleic acids attached via biotin to streptavidin and bound with a functional group. These constructs can be utilized in vivo to treat or identify diseased tissue or cells. Repeated administrations of multimeric nucleic acid compositions produce a rapid and specific amplification of nucleic acid constructs and their attached functional groups. For treatment purposes, functional groups may be toxins, radioisotopes, genes or enzymes. Diagnostically, labeled multimeric constructs may be used to identify specific targets in vivo or in vitro. Multimeric nucleic acids may also be used in nanotechnology and to create self-assembling polymeric aggregates such as membranes of defined porosity, microcircuits and many other products.

  2. Self-assembling multimeric nucleic acid constructs

    DOEpatents

    Cantor, Charles R.; Niemeyer, Christof M.; Smith, Cassandra L.; Sano, Takeshi; Hnatowich, Donald J.; Rusckowski, Mary

    1999-10-12

    The invention is directed to constructs and compositions containing multimeric forms of nucleic acid. Multimeric nucleic acids comprise single-stranded nucleic acids attached via biotin to streptavidin and bound with a functional group. These constructs can be utilized in vivo to treat or identify diseased tissue or cells. Repeated administrations of multimeric nucleic acid compositions produce a rapid and specific amplification of nucleic acid constructs and their attached functional groups. For treatment purposes, functional groups may be toxins, radioisotopes, genes or enzymes. Diagnostically, labeled multimeric constructs may be used to identify specific targets in vivo or in vitro. Multimeric nucleic acids may also be used in nanotechnology and to create self-assembling polymeric aggregates such as membranes of defined porosity, microcircuits and many other products.

  3. Smart self-assembled hybrid hydrogel biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Kope?ek, Jind?ich; Yang, Jiyuan

    2012-07-23

    Hybrid biomaterials are systems created from components of at least two distinct classes of molecules, for example, synthetic macromolecules and proteins or peptide domains. The synergistic combination of two types of structures may produce new materials that possess unprecedented levels of structural organization and novel properties. This Review focuses on biorecognition-driven self-assembly of hybrid macromolecules into functional hydrogel biomaterials. First, basic rules that govern the secondary structure of peptides are discussed, and then approaches to the specific design of hybrid systems with tailor-made properties are evaluated, followed by a discussion on the similarity of design principles of biomaterials and macromolecular therapeutics. Finally, the future of the field is briefly outlined. PMID:22806947

  4. Self-assembled ultra small ZnO nanocrystals for dye-sensitized solar cell application

    SciTech Connect

    Patra, Astam K.; Dutta, Arghya; Bhaumik, Asim

    2014-07-01

    We demonstrate a facile chemical approach to produce self-assembled ultra-small mesoporous zinc oxide nanocrystals using sodium salicylate (SS) as a template under hydrothermal conditions. These ZnO nanomaterials have been successfully fabricated as a photoanode for the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) in the presence of N719 dye and iodinetriiodide electrolyte. The structural features, crystallinity, purity, mesophase and morphology of the nanostructure ZnO are investigated by several characterization tools. N{sub 2} sorption analysis revealed high surface areas (203 m{sup 2} g{sup ?1}) and narrow pore size distributions (5.15.4 nm) for different samples. The mesoporous structure and strong photoluminescence facilitates the high dye loading at the mesoscopic void spaces and light harvesting in DSSC. By utilizing this ultra-small ZnO photoelectrode with film thickness of about 7 ?m in the DSSC with an open-circuit voltage (V{sub OC}) of 0.74 V, short-circuit current density (J{sub SC}) of 3.83 mA cm{sup ?2} and an overall power conversion efficiency of 1.12% has been achieved. - Graphical abstract: Ultra-small ZnO nanocrystals have been synthesized with sodium salicylate as a template and using it as a photoanode in a dye-sensitized solar cell 1.12% power conversion efficiency has been observed. - Highlights: Synthesis of self-assembled ultra-small mesoporous ZnO nanocrystals by using sodium salicylate as a template. Mesoporous ZnO materials have high BET surface areas and void space. ZnO nanoparticles serve as a photoanode for the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). Using ZnO nanocrystals as photoelectrode power conversion efficiency of 1.12% has been achieved.

  5. Self assembly properties of primitive organic compounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deamer, D. W.

    1991-01-01

    A central event in the origin of life was the self-assembly of amphiphilic, lipid-like compounds into closed microenvironments. If a primitive macromolecular replicating system could be encapsulated within a vesicular membrane, the components of the system would share the same microenvironment, and the result would be a step toward true cellular function. The goal of our research has been to determine what amphiphilic molecules might plausibly have been available on the early Earth to participate in the formation of such boundary structures. To this end, we have investigated primitive organic mixtures present in carbonaceous meteorites such as the Murchison meteorite, which contains 1-2 percent of its mass in the form of organic carbon compounds. It is likely that such compounds contributed to the inventory of organic carbon on the prebiotic earth, and were available to participate in chemical evolution leading to the emergence of the first cellular life forms. We found that Murchison components extracted into non-polar solvent systems are surface active, a clear indication of amphiphilic character. One acidic fraction self-assembles into vesicular membranes that provide permeability barriers to polar solutes. Other evidence indicates that the membranes are bimolecular layers similar to those formed by contemporary membrane lipids. We conclude that bilayer membrane formation by primitive amphiphiles on the early Earth is feasible. However, only a minor fraction of acidic amphiphiles assembles into bilayers, and the resulting membranes require narrowly defined conditions of pH and ionic composition to be stable. It seems unlikely, therefore, that meteoritic infall was a direct source of membrane amphiphiles. Instead, the hydrocarbon components and their derivatives more probably would provide an organic stock available for chemical evolution. Our current research is directed at possible reactions which would generate substantial quantities of membranogenic amphiphiles. One possibility is photochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons.

  6. Self assembled structures for 3D integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Madhav

    Three dimensional (3D) micro-scale structures attached to a silicon substrate have various applications in microelectronics. However, formation of 3D structures using conventional micro-fabrication techniques are not efficient and require precise control of processing parameters. Self assembly is a method for creating 3D structures that takes advantage of surface area minimization phenomena. Solder based self assembly (SBSA), the subject of this dissertation, uses solder as a facilitator in the formation of 3D structures from 2D patterns. Etching a sacrificial layer underneath a portion of the 2D pattern allows the solder reflow step to pull those areas out of the substrate plane resulting in a folded 3D structure. Initial studies using the SBSA method demonstrated low yields in the formation of five different polyhedra. The failures in folding were primarily attributed to nonuniform solder deposition on the underlying metal pads. The dip soldering method was analyzed and subsequently refined. A modified dip soldering process provided improved yield among the polyhedra. Solder bridging referred as joining of solder deposited on different metal patterns in an entity influenced the folding mechanism. In general, design parameters such as small gap-spacings and thick metal pads were found to favor solder bridging for all patterns studied. Two types of soldering: face and edge soldering were analyzed. Face soldering refers to the application of solder on the entire metal face. Edge soldering indicates application of solder only on the edges of the metal face. Mechanical grinding showed that face soldered SBSA structures were void free and robust in nature. In addition, the face soldered 3D structures provide a consistent heat resistant solder standoff height that serve as attachments in the integration of dissimilar electronic technologies. Face soldered 3D structures were developed on the underlying conducting channel to determine the thermo-electric reliability of face soldered structures.

  7. Self-assembly of granular crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shattuck, Mark

    2015-03-01

    Acoustic meta-materials are engineered materials with the ability to control, direct, and manipulate sound waves. Since the 1990s, several groups have developed acoustic meta-materials with novel capabilities including negative index materials for acoustic super-lenses, phononic crystals with acoustic band gaps for wave guides and mirrors, and acoustic cloaking device. Most previous work on acoustic meta-materials has focused on continuum solids and fluids. In contrast, we report on coordinated computational and experimental studies to use macro-self-assembly of granular materials to produce acoustic meta-materials. The advantages of granular acoustic materials are three-fold: 1) Microscopic control: The discrete nature of granular media allows us to optimize acoustic properties on both the grain and network scales. 2) Tunability: The speed of sound in granular media depends strongly on pressure due to non-linear contact interactions and contact breaking. 3) Direct visualization: The macro-scale size of the grains enables visualization of the structure and stress propagation within granular assemblies. We report simulations and experiments of vibrated particles that form a variety of self-assembled ordered structures in two- and three-dimensions. In the simplest case of mono-disperse spheres, using a combination of pressure and vibration we produce crystals with long-range order on the scale of 100's of particles. Using special particle shapes that form ``lock and key'' structures we are able to make binary crystals with prescribed stoichiometries. We discuss the mechanical properties of these structures and methods to create more complicated structures.

  8. Equilibrium polymerization models of re-entrant self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Dudowicz, Jacek; Douglas, Jack F; Freed, Karl F

    2009-04-28

    As is well known, liquid-liquid phase separation can occur either upon heating or cooling, corresponding to lower and upper critical solution phase boundaries, respectively. Likewise, self-assembly transitions from a monomeric state to an organized polymeric state can proceed either upon increasing or decreasing temperature, and the concentration dependent ordering temperature is correspondingly called the "floor" or "ceiling" temperature. Motivated by the fact that some phase separating systems exhibit closed loop phase boundaries with two critical points, the present paper analyzes self-assembly analogs of re-entrant phase separation, i.e., re-entrant self-assembly. In particular, re-entrant self-assembly transitions are demonstrated to arise in thermally activated equilibrium self-assembling systems, when thermal activation is more favorable than chain propagation, and in equilibrium self-assembly near an adsorbing boundary where strong competition exists between adsorption and self-assembly. Apparently, the competition between interactions or equilibria generally underlies re-entrant behavior in both liquid-liquid phase separation and self-assembly transitions. PMID:19405628

  9. Connexon-mediated cell adhesion drives microtissue self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Brian; Jiang, Jean; Yanase, Toshihiko; Nishi, Yoshihiro; Morgan, Jeffrey R.

    2011-01-01

    Microtissue self-assembly is thought to be driven primarily by cadherins, while connexons have been examined mainly in intercellular coupling. We investigated whether connexon 43 (Cx43)-mediated cell adhesion modulates self-assembly of human KGN granulosa cells, normal human fibroblasts (NHFs), and MCF-7 breast cancer cells seeded into nonadhesive agarose gels. We found that treatment with anti-Cx43 E2 (112 ?g/ml), which suppresses Cx43 docking, significantly inhibited the kinetics of KGN and NHF self-assembly compared to the preimmune sera control (41.14.5 and 24.510.4% at 8 h, respectively). Likewise, gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone also inhibited self-assembly of KGN, NHF, and MCF-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner that was specific to cell type. In contrast, Gap26 connexin mimetic peptide, which inhibits channel permeability but not docking, accelerated self-assembly of KGN and NHF microtissues. Experiments using selective enzymatic digestion of cell adhesion molecules and neutralizing N-cadherin antibodies further showed that self-assembly was comparably disrupted by inhibiting connexin- and cadherin-mediated adhesion. These findings demonstrate that connexon-mediated cell adhesion and intercellular communication differentially influence microtissue self-assembly, and that their contributions are comparable to those of cadherins.Bao, B., Jiang, J., Yanase, T., Nishi, Y., Morgan, J. R. Connexon-mediated cell adhesion drives microtissue self-assembly. PMID:20876208

  10. Self-Assembly of Micromachining Systems Powered by Janus Micromotors.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Claudio; Simmchen, Juliane; Saglimbeni, Filippo; Katuri, Jaideep; Dipalo, Michele; De Angelis, Francesco; Sanchez, Samuel; Di Leonardo, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Janus particles can self-assemble around microfabricated gears in reproducible configurations with a high degree of spatial and orientational order. The final configuration maximizes the torque applied on the rotor leading to a unidirectional and steady rotating motion. The interplay between geometry and dynamical behavior leads to the self-assembly of Janus micromotors starting from randomly distributed particles. PMID:26649462

  11. Entropically driven self-assembly of multichannel rosette nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Fenniri, Hicham; Deng, Bo-Liang; Ribbe, Alexander E; Hallenga, Klaas; Jacob, Jaby; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2002-04-30

    Rosette nanotubes are a new class of organic nanotubes obtained through the hierarchical self-assembly of low molecular weight synthetic modules in water. Here we demonstrate that these materials can serve as scaffolds for the supramolecular synthesis of multichannel nanotubular architectures and report on the discovery of their entropy-driven self-assembly process. PMID:11891281

  12. Entropically driven self-assembly of multichannel rosette nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Fenniri, Hicham; Deng, Bo-Liang; Ribbe, Alexander E.; Hallenga, Klaas; Jacob, Jaby; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2002-01-01

    Rosette nanotubes are a new class of organic nanotubes obtained through the hierarchical self-assembly of low molecular weight synthetic modules in water. Here we demonstrate that these materials can serve as scaffolds for the supramolecular synthesis of multichannel nanotubular architectures and report on the discovery of their entropy-driven self-assembly process. PMID:11891281

  13. Self-Assembly Strategy for Fabricating Connected Graphene Nanoribbons.

    PubMed

    Han, Patrick; Akagi, Kazuto; Federici Canova, Filippo; Shimizu, Ryota; Oguchi, Hiroyuki; Shiraki, Susumu; Weiss, Paul S; Asao, Naoki; Hitosugi, Taro

    2015-12-22

    We use self-assembly to fabricate and to connect precise graphene nanoribbons end to end. Combining scanning tunneling microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and density functional theory, we characterize the chemical and electronic aspects of the interconnections between ribbons. We demonstrate how the substrate effects of our self-assembly can be exploited to fabricate graphene structures connected to desired electrodes. PMID:26588477

  14. Enhancing light-harvesting power with coherent vibrational interactions: A quantum heat engine picture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killoran, N.; Huelga, S. F.; Plenio, M. B.

    2015-10-01

    Recent evidence suggests that quantum effects may have functional importance in biological light-harvesting systems. Along with delocalized electronic excitations, it is now suspected that quantum coherent interactions with certain near-resonant vibrations may contribute to light-harvesting performance. However, the actual quantum advantage offered by such coherent vibrational interactions has not yet been established. We investigate a quantum design principle, whereby coherent exchange of single energy quanta between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom can enhance a light-harvesting system's power above what is possible by thermal mechanisms alone. We present a prototype quantum heat engine which cleanly illustrates this quantum design principle and quantifies its quantum advantage using thermodynamic measures of performance. We also demonstrate the principle's relevance in parameter regimes connected to natural light-harvesting structures.

  15. Supramolecular organization of photosystem I and light-harvesting complex I in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Germano, Marta; Yakushevska, Alevtyna E; Keegstra, Wilko; van Gorkom, Hans J; Dekker, Jan P; Boekema, Egbert J

    2002-08-14

    We report a structural characterization by electron microscopy and image analysis of a supramolecular complex consisting of photosystem I and light-harvesting complex I from the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The complex is a monomer, has longest dimensions of 21.3 and 18.2 nm in projection, and is significantly larger than the corresponding complex in spinach. Comparison with photosystem I complexes from other organisms suggests that the complex contains about 14 light-harvesting proteins, two or three of which bind at the side of the PSI-H subunit. We suggest that special light-harvesting I proteins play a role in the binding of phosphorylated light-harvesting complex II in state 2. PMID:12163173

  16. Enhancing light-harvesting power with coherent vibrational interactions: A quantum heat engine picture.

    PubMed

    Killoran, N; Huelga, S F; Plenio, M B

    2015-10-21

    Recent evidence suggests that quantum effects may have functional importance in biological light-harvesting systems. Along with delocalized electronic excitations, it is now suspected that quantum coherent interactions with certain near-resonant vibrations may contribute to light-harvesting performance. However, the actual quantum advantage offered by such coherent vibrational interactions has not yet been established. We investigate a quantum design principle, whereby coherent exchange of single energy quanta between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom can enhance a light-harvesting system's power above what is possible by thermal mechanisms alone. We present a prototype quantum heat engine which cleanly illustrates this quantum design principle and quantifies its quantum advantage using thermodynamic measures of performance. We also demonstrate the principle's relevance in parameter regimes connected to natural light-harvesting structures. PMID:26493926

  17. IRON-INDUCED CHANGES IN LIGHT HARVESTING AND PHOTOCHEMICAL ENERGY CONVERSION IN EUKARYOTIC MARINE ALGAE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The role of iron in regulating light harvesting and photochemical energy conversion process was examined in the marine unicellular chlorophyte Dunaliella tertiolecta and the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In both species, iron limitation led to a reduction in cellular c...

  18. Light harvesting complexes of Chromera velia, photosynthetic relative of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Tichy, Josef; Gardian, Zdenko; Bina, David; Konik, Peter; Litvin, Radek; Herbstova, Miroslava; Pain, Arnab; Vacha, Frantisek

    2013-06-01

    The structure and composition of the light harvesting complexes from the unicellular alga Chromera velia were studied by means of optical spectroscopy, biochemical and electron microscopy methods. Two different types of antennae systems were identified. One exhibited a molecular weight (18-19kDa) similar to FCP (fucoxanthin chlorophyll protein) complexes from diatoms, however, single particle analysis and circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated similarity of this structure to the recently characterized XLH antenna of xanthophytes. In light of these data we denote this antenna complex CLH, for "Chromera Light Harvesting" complex. The other system was identified as the photosystem I with bound Light Harvesting Complexes (PSI-LHCr) related to the red algae LHCI antennae. The result of this study is the finding that C. velia, when grown in natural light conditions, possesses light harvesting antennae typically found in two different, evolutionary distant, groups of photosynthetic organisms. PMID:23428396

  19. Low-Bandgap Thiophene Dendrimers for Improved Light Harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Rupert, B. L.; Mitchell, W. J.; Ferguson, A. J.; Kose, M. E.; Rance, W. L.; Rumbles, G.; Ginley, D. S.; Shaheen, S. E.; Kopidakis, N.

    2009-01-01

    This article follows our previous work on the synthesis and characterization of pi-conjugated dendrimers for use in organic solar cells. Here we discuss five new thiophene-based dendrimers that were synthesized in order to study the relationship between their chemical structures and electronic properties. Three of these dendrimers incorporate acetylene spacers, included to relieve steric strain, between the thiophene arms and phenyl cores used in previous studies. Only a small effect on the electronic properties is observed upon inclusion of the acetylene spacer in the three-arm dendrimer, 3G1-2S-Ac. In contrast, a decrease in the bandgap is observed for the four-arm dendrimer, 4G1-2S-Ac, due to a reduction of interactions between the arms in the more sterically congested 1,2,4,5-arrangement around the phenyl core, resulting in delocalization of the exciton through the phenyl core. Incorporation of electron-withdrawing cyano groups on the phenyl core of the three-arm dendrimer, 3G1-2S-CN, resulted in a very large ({approx}0.5 eV) decrease in the bandgap, due to stabilization of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, and the low energy absorption band in this material is attributed to a transition with significant intramolecular charge-transfer character. The electronic properties of three- and four-arm dendrimers with electron-donating dibutylaniline moieties attached to the end of the thiophene dendron, 3G1-2S-N and 4G1-2S-N respectively, are almost identical, indicating that they are dominated by the arms, with no through-core communication allowed, even for the para-linked arms of 4G1-2S-N. However, there is a significant increase in the molar absorptivity of these materials, concomitant with significant broadening of the absorption spectrum, which is an important attribute in light-harvesting applications.

  20. Self-Assembly of Optical Molecules with Supramolecular Concepts

    PubMed Central

    Okamoto, Ken; Chithra, Parayalil; Richards, Gary J.; Hill, Jonathan P.; Ariga, Katsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Fabrication of nano-sized objects is one of the most important issues in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Soft nanomaterials with flexible properties have been given much attention and can be obtained through bottom-up processing from functional molecules, where self-assembly based on supramolecular chemistry and designed assembly have become crucial processes and techniques. Among the various functional molecules, dyes have become important materials in certain areas of nanotechnology and their self-assembling behaviors have been actively researched. In this short review, we briefly introduce recent progress in self-assembly of optical molecules and dyes, based mainly on supramolecular concepts. The introduced examples are classified into four categories: self-assembly of (i) low-molecular-weight dyes and (ii) polymeric dyes and dye self-assembly (iii) in nanoscale architectures and (iv) at surfaces. PMID:19564931

  1. Self-assembly of phospholipids on flat supports.

    PubMed

    Mhashal, Anil R; Roy, Sudip

    2015-11-18

    The current study deals with the self-assembly of phospholipids on flat supports using the Martini coarse grain model. We reported here the effect of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic nature of the solid supports on the lipid self-assembly. The hydrophilic and hydrophobic supports were modeled on the basis of water droplet simulations. The present work addresses the self-assembly mechanism of lipids on eight different supports with different strengths of hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity. We demonstrated how interplay between the interactions of lipid and water with the support can guide the lipid self-assembly process. Thereafter, we calculated the energetics of the components of the system to quantify the competitions between water and a lipid head-group with hydrophilic supports. Finally, the properties of the self-assembled bilayers were also analyzed and reported here. PMID:26540275

  2. Robotics. Programmable self-assembly in a thousand-robot swarm.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Michael; Cornejo, Alejandro; Nagpal, Radhika

    2014-08-15

    Self-assembly enables nature to build complex forms, from multicellular organisms to complex animal structures such as flocks of birds, through the interaction of vast numbers of limited and unreliable individuals. Creating this ability in engineered systems poses challenges in the design of both algorithms and physical systems that can operate at such scales. We report a system that demonstrates programmable self-assembly of complex two-dimensional shapes with a thousand-robot swarm. This was enabled by creating autonomous robots designed to operate in large groups and to cooperate through local interactions and by developing a collective algorithm for shape formation that is highly robust to the variability and error characteristic of large-scale decentralized systems. This work advances the aim of creating artificial swarms with the capabilities of natural ones. PMID:25124435

  3. Direct observation of ultrafast coherent exciton dynamics in helical ?-stacks of self-assembled perylene bisimides

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Jooyoung; Kim, Pyosang; Fimmel, Benjamin; Wrthner, Frank; Kim, Dongho

    2015-01-01

    Ever since the discovery of dye self-assemblies in nature, there have been tremendous efforts to exploit biomimetic supramolecular assemblies for tailored artificial photon processing materials. This feature necessarily has resulted in an increasing demand for understanding exciton dynamics in the dye self-assemblies. In a sharp contrast with J-type aggregates, however, the detailed observation of exciton dynamics in H-type aggregates has remained challenging. In this study, as we succeed in measuring transient fluorescence from Frenkel state of ?-stacked perylene tetracarboxylic acid bisimide dimer and oligomer aggregates, we present an experimental demonstration on Frenkel exciton dynamics of archetypal columnar ?? stacks of dyes. The analysis of the vibronic peak ratio of the transient fluorescence spectra reveals that unlike the simple ?-stacked dimer, the photoexcitation energy in the columnar ?-stacked oligomer aggregates is initially delocalized over at least three molecular units and moves coherently along the chain in tens of femtoseconds, preceding excimer formation process. PMID:26492820

  4. Synthesis of 1D Silica Nanostructures with Controllable Sizes Based on Short Anionic Peptide Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shengjie; Cai, Qingwei; Du, Mingxuan; Xue, Junyi; Xu, Hai

    2015-09-10

    Artificial synthesis of silica under benign conditions is usually achieved by using cationic organic matrices as templates while the anionic analogues have not received enough consideration, albeit they are also functioning in biosilica formation. In this work, we report the design and self-assembly of an anionic peptide amphiphile (I3E) and the use of its self-assemblies as templates to synthesize 1D silica nanostructures with tunable sizes. We show that short I3E readily formed long nanofibrils in aqueous solution via a hierarchical self-assembly process. By using APTES and TEOS as silica precursors, we found that the I3E nanofibrils templated the production of silica nanotubes with a wide size distribution, in which the silica size regulation was achieved by tuning the interactions among the peptide template and silicon species. These results clearly illustrate a facile method for generating silica nanomaterials based on anionic matrices. PMID:26301578

  5. Pigment binding, fluorescence properties, and oligomerization behavior of Lhca5, a novel light-harvesting protein.

    PubMed

    Storf, Stefanie; Jansson, Stefan; Schmid, Volkmar H R

    2005-02-18

    A new potential light-harvesting protein, named Lhca5, was recently detected in higher plants. Because of the low amount of Lhca5 in thylakoid membranes, the isolation of a native Lhca5 pigment-protein complex has not been achieved to date. Therefore, we used in vitro reconstitution to analyze whether Lhca5 binds pigments and is actually an additional light-harvesting protein. By this approach we could demonstrate that Lhca5 binds pigments in a unique stoichiometry. Analyses of pigment requirements for light-harvesting complex formation by Lhca5 revealed that chlorophyll b is the only indispensable pigment. Fluorescence measurements showed that ligated chlorophylls and carotenoids are arranged in a way that allows directed energy transfer within the light-harvesting complex. Reconstitutions of Lhca5 together with other Lhca proteins resulted in the formation of heterodimers with Lhca1. This result demonstrates that Lhca5 is indeed a protein belonging to the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem I. The properties of Lhca5 are compared with those of previously characterized Lhca proteins, and the consequences of an additional Lhca protein for the composition of the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem I are discussed in view of the recently published photosystem I structure of the pea. PMID:15563470

  6. Molecular Adaptation of Photoprotection: Triplet States in Light-Harvesting Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gall, Andrew; Berera, Rudi; Alexandre, MaximeT.A.; Pascal, AndrewA.; Bordes, Luc; Mendes-Pinto, MariaM.; Andrianambinintsoa, Sandra; Stoitchkova, KaterinaV.; Marin, Alessandro; Valkunas, Leonas; Horton, Peter; Kennis, JohnT.M.; vanGrondelle, Rienk; Ruban, Alexander; Robert, Bruno

    2011-01-01

    The photosynthetic light-harvesting systems of purple bacteria and plants both utilize specific carotenoids as quenchers of the harmful (bacterio)chlorophyll triplet states via triplet-triplet energy transfer. Here, we explore how the binding of carotenoids to the different types of light-harvesting proteins found in plants and purple bacteria provides adaptation in this vital photoprotective function. We show that the creation of the carotenoid triplet states in the light-harvesting complexes may occur without detectable conformational changes, in contrast to that found for carotenoids in solution. However, in plant light-harvesting complexes, the triplet wavefunction is shared between the carotenoids and their adjacent chlorophylls. This is not observed for the antenna proteins of purple bacteria, where the triplet is virtually fully located on the carotenoid molecule. These results explain the faster triplet-triplet transfer times in plant light-harvesting complexes. We show that this molecular mechanism, which spreads the location of the triplet wavefunction through the pigments of plant light-harvesting complexes, results in the absence of any detectable chlorophyll triplet in these complexes upon excitation, and we propose that it emerged as a photoprotective adaptation during the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. PMID:21843485

  7. Metal induced self-assembly of designed V-shape protein into 2D wavy supramolecular nanostructure.

    PubMed

    Qiao, S P; Lang, C; Wang, R D; Li, X M; Yan, T F; Pan, T Z; Zhao, L L; Fan, X T; Zhang, X; Hou, C X; Luo, Q; Xu, J Y; Liu, J Q

    2015-12-17

    In order to understand and imitate the more complex bio-processes and fascinating functions in nature, protein self-assembly has been studied and has attracted more and more interest in recent years. Artificial self-assemblies of proteins have been constructed through many strategies. However, the design of complicated protein self-assemblies utilizing the special profile of building blocks remains a challenge. We herein report linear and 2D nanostructures constructed from a V shape SMAC protein and induced by metal coordination. Zigzag nanowires and wavy 2D nanostructures have been demonstrated by AFM and TEM. The zigzag nanowires can translate to a 2D nanostructure with an excess of metal ions, which reveals the step by step assembly process. Fluorescence and UV/Vis spectra have also been obtained to further study the mechanism and process of self-assembly. Upon the protein nanostructure, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) could also be detected using fluorescein modified proteins as building blocks. This article provides an approach for designing and controlling self-assembled protein nanostructures with a distinctive topological morphology. PMID:26612683

  8. Silica biomineralization via the self-assembly of helical biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ben; Cao, Yuanyuan; Huang, Zhehao; Duan, Yingying; Che, Shunai

    2015-01-21

    The biomimetic synthesis of relevant silica materials using biological macromolecules as templates via silica biomineralization processes attract rapidly rising attention toward natural and artificial materials. Biomimetic synthesis studies are useful for improving the understanding of the formation mechanism of the hierarchical structures found in living organisms (such as diatoms and sponges) and for promoting significant developments in the biotechnology, nanotechnology and materials chemistry fields. Chirality is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature and is an inherent feature of biomolecular components in organisms. Helical biomolecules, one of the most important types of chiral macromolecules, can self-assemble into multiple liquid-crystal structures and be used as biotemplates for silica biomineralization, which renders them particularly useful for fabricating complex silica materials under ambient conditions. Over the past two decades, many new silica materials with hierarchical structures and complex morphologies have been created using helical biomolecules. In this review, the developments in this field are described and the recent progress in silica biomineralization templating using several classes of helical biomolecules, including DNA, polypeptides, cellulose and rod-like viruses is summarized. Particular focus is placed on the formation mechanism of biomolecule-silica materials (BSMs) with hierarchical structures. Finally, current research challenges and future developments are discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25339438

  9. Photoelectron transport tuning of self-assembled subbands.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zhengwei; Wang, Xinmin; Wu, Weidong; Wang, Xuemin; Peng, Liping; Zhao, Yan; Yan, Dawei; Jiang, Tao; Shen, Changle; Zhan, Zhiqiang; Cao, Linhong; Li, Weihua

    2016-02-18

    Conventionally, electrical transport of quantum subbands occurs at very high electric fields, indicating that the medium is easy to break down. In the experiments and practical applications, the extreme condition is difficult to satisfy. For quantum information transmission, low power consumption and convenient implementation are what we expect. In this paper, we engineered a special quantum dot array (QDA) embedded in a single crystal matrix. By external optical field excitation, we found a series of subbands made of the self-assembled QDA discretely located in the matrix. Changing the spacing between the quantum dots leads to the variation of subband spacing. Artificially manipulating the microcosmic QDA system can bring interesting macroscopic effects, such as an enhanced absorption intensity in the ultraviolet range, a blue-shift of the surface plasmon resonance peak and nonlinear absorption changed from two-photon absorption to saturated absorption. The intrinsic mechanism of the subband optical response was revealed due to the strong quantum confinement effect and dominant intraband transitions. The weak surface plasmon resonance absorption of Ni QDA gave an excellent figure of merit of the order of 10(-10). The composite films are expectation enough to become a prime candidate for nonlinear applications near 532 nm. Therefore with interplay of the weak optical field and subbands, we achieved a tunable photoelectron transport process. PMID:26853784

  10. Self-assembly of Janus particles confined in a channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobrino Fernndez, M.; Misko, V. R.; Peeters, F. M.

    2014-02-01

    Janus particles present an important class of building blocks for directional assembly. These are compartmentalized colloids with two different hemispheres. Here, we consider a two-dimensional model of Janus disks consisting of a hydrophobic semicircle and an electro-negatively charged one. Placed in a solution, the hydrophobic sides will attract each other while the charged sides will give rise to a repulsive force. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we study the morphology of these particles when confined in a channel-like environment using a one dimensional harmonic confinement potential. The interest to this system is first of all due to the fact that it could serve as a simple model for membrane formation. Indeed, the recently synthesized new class of artificial amphiphiles, known as Janus dendrimers, were shown to self-assemble in bilayer structures mimicking biological membranes. In turn, Janus particles that combine the amphiphilicity and colloidal rigidity serve as a good model for Janus dendrimers. A variety of ordered membrane-like morphologies are found consisting of single and multiple chain configurations with different orientations of the particles with respect to each other that we summarize in a phase diagram.

  11. Large-Area Nanosphere Self-Assembly by a Micro-Propulsive Injection Method for High Throughput Periodic Surface Nanotexturing.

    PubMed

    Gao, Pingqi; He, Jian; Zhou, Suqiong; Yang, Xi; Li, Sizhong; Sheng, Jiang; Wang, Dan; Yu, Tianbao; Ye, Jichun; Cui, Yi

    2015-07-01

    A high throughput surface texturing process for optical and optoelectric devices based on a large-area self-assembly of nanospheres via a low-cost micropropulsive injection (MPI) method is presented. The novel MPI process enables the formation of a well-organized monolayer of hexagonally arranged nanosphere arrays (NAs) with tunable periodicity directly on the water surface, which is then transferred onto the preset substrates. This process can readily reach a throughput of 3000 wafers/h, which is compatible with the high volume photovoltaic manufacturing, thereby presenting a highly versatile platform for the fabrication of periodic nanotexturing on device surfaces. Specifically, a double-sided grating texturing with top-sided nanopencils and bottom-sided inverted-nanopyramids is realized in a thin film of crystalline silicon (28 μm in thickness) using chemical etching on the mask of NAs to significantly enhance antireflection and light trapping, resulting in absorptions nearly approaching the Lambertian limit over a broad wavelength range of 375-1000 nm and even surpassing this limit beyond 1000 nm. In addition, it is demonstrated that the NAs can serve as templates for replicas of three-dimensional conformal amorphous silicon films with significantly enhanced light harvesting. The MPI induced self-assembly process may provide a universal and cost-effective solution for boosting light utilization, a problem of crucial importance for ultrathin solar cells. PMID:26039258

  12. Self-assembled nanostructures in oxide ceramics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Haris Masood

    Self-assembled nanoislands in the gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC)/ yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) system have recently been discovered. This dissertation is an attempt to study the mechanism by which these nanoislands form. Nanoislands in the GDC/YSZ system form via a strain based mechanism whereby the stress accumulated in the GDC-doped surface layer on the YSZ substrate is relieved by creation of self-assembled nanoislands by a mechanism similar to the ATG instability. Unlike what was previously believed, a modified surface layer is not required prior to annealing, that is, this modification can occur during annealing by surface diffusion of dopants from the GDC sources (distributed on the YSZ surface in either lithographically defined patch or powder form) with simultaneous breakup, which occurs at the hold temperature independent of the subsequent cooling. Additionally, we have developed a simple powder based process of producing nanoislands which bypasses lithography and thin film deposition setups. The versatility of the process is apparent in the fact that it allows us to study the effect of experimental parameters such as soak time, temperature, cooling rate and the effect of powder composition on nanoisland properties in a facile way. With the help of this process, we have shown that nanoislands are not peculiar to Gd containing oxide source materials on YSZ substrates and can also be produced with other source materials such as La2O3, Nd2O3, Sm 2O3, Eu2O3, Tb2O3 and even Y2O3, which is already present in the substrate and hence simplifies the system further. We have extended our work to include YSZ substrates of the (110) surface orientation and have found that instead of nanoisland arrays, we obtain an array of parallel nanobars which have their long axes oriented along the [1-10] direction on the YSZ-(110) surface. STEM EDS performed on both the bars and the nanoislands has revealed that they are solid YSZ-rich solid solutions with the dopant species and are heterogeneous in composition with dopant enrichment at the top of the islands (bars) while their bases are pure YSZ. Finally, we discuss some of the future work directions and possible applications of these nanostructures that are being explored in collaboration with our colleagues Kunal Parikh and Prof. Jessica O. Winter in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Michael Susner and Prof. Michael Sumption in the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.

  13. Solvent mediated self-assembly of solids

    SciTech Connect

    De Yoreo, J.; Wilson, W.D.; Palmore, T.

    1997-12-12

    Solvent-mediated crystallization represents a robust approach to self-assembly of nanostructures and microstructures. In organic systems, the relative ease with which the structure of hydrogen- bonded molecules can be manipulated allows for generation of a wide variety of nanoscale crystal structures. In living organisms, control over the micron-to-millimeter form of inorganic crystals is achieved through introduction of bio-organic molecules. The purpose of this proposal is to understand the interplay between solution chemistry, molecular structure, surface chemistry, and the processes of nucleation and crystal growth in solvent-mediated systems, with the goal of developing the atomic and molecular basis of a solvent-mediated self-assembly technology. We will achieve this purpose by: (1) utilizing an atomic force microscopy (AFM) approach that provides in situ, real time imaging during growth from solutions, (2) by modifying kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) models to include solution-surface kinetics, (3) by introducing quantum chemistry (QC) calculations of the potentials of the relevant chemical species and the near-surface structure of the solution, and (4) by utilizing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to identify the minimum energy pathways to the solid state. Our work will focus on two systems chosen to address both the manometer and micron-to-millimeter length scales of assembly, the family of 2,5- diketopiperazines (X-DKPs) and the system of CaCO{sub 3} with amino acids. Using AFM, we will record the evolution of surface morphology, critical lengths, step speeds, and step-step interactions as a function of supersaturation and temperature. In the case of the X-DKPs, these measurements will be repeated as the molecular structure of the growth unit is varied. In the case of CaCO{sub 3}, they will be performed as a function of solution chemistry including pH, ionic strength, and amino acid content. In addition, we will measure nucleation rates and orientations of CaCO{sub 3} on polyamino acid templates. From these measurements, we will extract fundamental growth parameters for input into KMC simulations whose predictions will in turn be compared to the experimental observations. The KMC simulations will incorporate atomic processes representing the minimum energy pathways as determined from the MD calculations. The interaction potentials of the relevant chemical species as well as the hydrated surface, including the electrochemical double layer, used in the MD simulations will be determined using coupled solutions to the Schrodinger and Poisson-Boltzmann equations which take account of electronic relaxation effects.

  14. Self-assembled ultra small ZnO nanocrystals for dye-sensitized solar cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patra, Astam K.; Dutta, Arghya; Bhaumik, Asim

    2014-07-01

    We demonstrate a facile chemical approach to produce self-assembled ultra-small mesoporous zinc oxide nanocrystals using sodium salicylate (SS) as a template under hydrothermal conditions. These ZnO nanomaterials have been successfully fabricated as a photoanode for the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) in the presence of N719 dye and iodine-triiodide electrolyte. The structural features, crystallinity, purity, mesophase and morphology of the nanostructure ZnO are investigated by several characterization tools. N2 sorption analysis revealed high surface areas (203 m2 g-1) and narrow pore size distributions (5.1-5.4 nm) for different samples. The mesoporous structure and strong photoluminescence facilitates the high dye loading at the mesoscopic void spaces and light harvesting in DSSC. By utilizing this ultra-small ZnO photoelectrode with film thickness of about 7 ?m in the DSSC with an open-circuit voltage (VOC) of 0.74 V, short-circuit current density (JSC) of 3.83 mA cm-2 and an overall power conversion efficiency of 1.12% has been achieved.

  15. Strongly Coupled Plasmonic Modes on Macroscopic Areas via Template-Assisted Colloidal Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We present ensembles of surface-ordered nanoparticle arrangements, which are formed by template-assisted self-assembly of monodisperse, protein-coated gold nanoparticles in wrinkle templates. Centimeter-squared areas of highly regular, linear assemblies with tunable line width are fabricated and their extinction cross sections can be characterized by conventional UV/vis/NIR spectroscopy. Modeling based on electrodynamic simulations shows a clear signature of strong plasmonic coupling with an interparticle spacing of 12 nm. We find evidence for well-defined plasmonic modes of quasi-infinite chains, such as resonance splitting and multiple radiant modes. Beyond elementary simulations on the individual chain level, we introduce an advanced model, which considers the chain length distribution as well as disorder. The step toward macroscopic sample areas not only opens perspectives for a range of applications in sensing, plasmonic light harvesting, surface enhanced spectroscopy, and information technology but also eases the investigation of hybridization and metamaterial effects fundamentally. PMID:25347293

  16. Self-assembly and interactions of biomimetic thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handa, Hitesh

    Bilayer lipid membranes create the natural environment for the immobilization of functional proteins and have been used as a model for understanding structure and properties of cell membranes. The development of biomimetic surfaces requires in depth knowledge of surface science, self-assembly, immobilization techniques, nanofabrication, biomolecular interactions and analytical techniques. This research is focused on synthesizing and characterizing biomimetic artificial surfaces for fundamental studies in membrane structure and better understanding of specific and non-specific interactions. The other main focus is on surface engineering of self-assembled, nanostructured interfaces that mimic cell membranes. These structures provide a powerful bottom-up approach to the studies of the structure and functionality of cell membranes and their interactions with other molecules. One of the advantages of this approach is that the complexity of the system can be controlled and gradually increased to add functionalities. This dissertation provides a first single molecule force measurement of the specific interactions between Salmonella typhimurium and P22 bacteriophage. This dissertation also provides a novel model system for the confined crystallization of drug molecules such as aspirin using the concept of phospholipid bilayer assembly at surfaces. The results will impact the development of biosensors and drug delivery. The defense will focus on the preparation and bio-recognition interactions between a monolayer of bacteriophage P22, covalently bound to glass substrates through a bifunctional cross linker 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane, and the outer membrane of Salmonella, lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The LPS bilayer was deposited on poly (ethylenimine)-modified mica from their sonicated unilamellar vesicle solution. The specific binding of Salmonella typhimurium to the phage monolayer was studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Using AFM force measurements discrete unbinding forces between surface attached P22 and LPS were obtained. Both whole P22 and tailspike proteins separated from the P22 capsid were used. The unbinding force histograms point to discrete forces between substrate-supported P22 and LPS. The unit unbinding force was found to decrease with decreasing force loading rate and increasing temperature. By fitting the force data with the Bell model, an energy barrier of approximately 55 KJ/mol was obtained. The resilience of phage binding to pH variation and hydration/dehydration cycles argues for the robustness of potential phage-based devices.

  17. Enzyme-assisted self-assembly under thermodynamic control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Richard J.; Smith, Andrew M.; Collins, Richard; Hodson, Nigel; Das, Apurba K.; Ulijn, Rein V.

    2009-01-01

    The production of functional molecular architectures through self-assembly is commonplace in biology, but despite advances, it is still a major challenge to achieve similar complexity in the laboratory. Self-assembled structures that are reproducible and virtually defect free are of interest for applications in three-dimensional cell culture, templating, biosensing and supramolecular electronics. Here, we report the use of reversible enzyme-catalysed reactions to drive self-assembly. In this approach, the self-assembly of aromatic short peptide derivatives provides a driving force that enables a protease enzyme to produce building blocks in a reversible and spatially confined manner. We demonstrate that this system combines three features: (i) self-correction-fully reversible self-assembly under thermodynamic control; (ii) component-selection-the ability to amplify the most stable molecular self-assembly structures in dynamic combinatorial libraries; and (iii) spatiotemporal confinement of nucleation and structure growth. Enzyme-assisted self-assembly therefore provides control in bottom-up fabrication of nanomaterials that could ultimately lead to functional nanostructures with enhanced complexities and fewer defects.

  18. Initial condition of stochastic self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Jason K.; Sindi, Suzanne S.

    2016-02-01

    The formation of a stable protein aggregate is regarded as the rate limiting step in the establishment of prion diseases. In these systems, once aggregates reach a critical size the growth process accelerates and thus the waiting time until the appearance of the first critically sized aggregate is a key determinant of disease onset. In addition to prion diseases, aggregation and nucleation is a central step of many physical, chemical, and biological process. Previous studies have examined the first-arrival time at a critical nucleus size during homogeneous self-assembly under the assumption that at time t =0 the system was in the all-monomer state. However, in order to compare to in vivo biological experiments where protein constituents inherited by a newly born cell likely contain intermediate aggregates, other possibilities must be considered. We consider one such possibility by conditioning the unique ergodic size distribution on subcritical aggregate sizes; this least-informed distribution is then used as an initial condition. We make the claim that this initial condition carries fewer assumptions than an all-monomer one and verify that it can yield significantly different averaged waiting times relative to the all-monomer condition under various models of assembly.

  19. Electrostatic self-assembly of biomolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olvera de La Cruz, Monica

    2015-03-01

    Charged filaments and membranes are natural structures abundant in cell media. In this talk we discuss the assembly of amphiphiles into biocompatible fibers, ribbons and membranes. We describe one- and two-dimensional assemblies that undergo re-entrant transitions in crystalline packing in response to changes in the solution pH and/or salt concentration resulting in different mesoscale morphologies and properties. In the case of one-dimensional structures, we discuss self-assembled amphiphiles into highly charged nanofibers in water that order into two-dimensional crystals. These fibers of about 6 nm cross-sectional diameter form crystalline arrays with inter-fiber spacings of up to 130 nm. Solution concentration and temperature can be adjusted to control the inter-fiber spacings. The addition of salt destroys crystal packing, indicating that electrostatic repulsions are necessary for the observed ordering. We describe the crystallization of bundles of filament networks interacting via long-range repulsions in confinement by a phenomenological model. Two distinct crystallization mechanisms in the short and large screening length regimes are discussed and the phase diagram is obtained. Simulation of large bundles predicts the existence of topological defects among bundled filaments. Crystallization processes driven by electrostatic attractions are also discussed. Funded by Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science (CBES), which is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0000989.

  20. Dissipative adaptation in driven self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, Jeremy L.

    2015-11-01

    In a collection of assembling particles that is allowed to reach thermal equilibrium, the energy of a given microscopic arrangement and the probability of observing the system in that arrangement obey a simple exponential relationship known as the Boltzmann distribution. Once the same thermally fluctuating particles are driven away from equilibrium by forces that do work on the system over time, however, it becomes significantly more challenging to relate the likelihood of a given outcome to familiar thermodynamic quantities. Nonetheless, it has long been appreciated that developing a sound and general understanding of the thermodynamics of such non-equilibrium scenarios could ultimately enable us to control and imitate the marvellous successes that living things achieve in driven self-assembly. Here, I suggest that such a theoretical understanding may at last be emerging, and trace its development from historic first steps to more recent discoveries. Focusing on these newer results, I propose that they imply a general thermodynamic mechanism for self-organization via dissipation of absorbed work that may be applicable in a broad class of driven many-body systems.

  1. Self-Assembled Epitaxical Nanostructure Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhukar, Anupam

    2003-03-01

    The past decade has witnessed major strides in the realization of nanostructures with 3-dimensionally confined electronic states, dubbed quantum dots (QDs). Most notable classes are the solution grown colloidal nanocrystals, also called nanoparticles (NPs) and the strain-driven semiconductor epitaxical islands formed spontaneously beyond a critical deposition amount during growth of a film with a high lattice mismatch with the substrate. The latter, though spatially randomly positioned, by virtue of their epitaxical nature, are readily integrable in a variety of test and device structures. Consequently these have led the way in providing platforms for examining QD physics and QD based devices such as lasers, detectors, amplifiers, and transistors. The colloidal nanocrystals are in desperate need of being epitaxically integrated onto appropriate substrates and thus providing the platform for realizing more flexible and varied classes of quantum nanostructures for even wider range of applications. Epitaxy and spatially-selective self-assembly are thus two key features of wide classes of nanostructures essential for future advanced information sensing, processing, communication and computing technologies within the largely current paradigms of chip and system architectures. In this talk I will focus on some fundamental issues of epitaxical growth and ordering, structural and chemical template engineering approaches, and their implementation for realization of epitaxical QDs in regular 2D and 3D ultra-dense arrays.

  2. Self-Assembled Microdisk Lasers of Perylenediimides.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhenyi; Wu, Yishi; Liao, Qing; Zhang, Haihua; Bai, Shuming; Li, Hui; Xu, Zhenzhen; Sun, Chunlin; Wang, Xuedong; Yao, Jiannian; Fu, Hongbing

    2015-12-01

    Organic solid-state lasers (OSSLs) have been a topic of intensive investigations. Perylenediimide (PDI) derivatives are widely used in organic thin-film transistors and solar cells. However, OSSLs based on neat PDIs have not been achieved yet, owing to the formation of H-aggregates and excimer trap-states. Here, we demonstrated the first PDI-based OSSL from whispering-gallery mode (WGM) hexagonal microdisk (hMD) microcavity of N,N'-bis(1-ethylpropyl)-2,5,8,11-tetrakis(p-methyl-phenyl)-perylenediimide (mp-PDI) self-assembled from solution. Single-crystal data reveal that mp-PDI molecules stack into a loosely packed twisted brickstone arrangement, resulting in J-type aggregates that exhibit a solid-state photoluminescence (PL) efficiency ? > 15%. Moreover, we found that exciton-vibration coupling in J-aggregates leads to an exceptional ultrafast radiative decay, which reduces the exciton diffusion length, in turn, suppresses bimolecular exciton annihilation (bmEA) process. These spectral features, plus the optical feedback provided by WGM-hMD microcavity, enable the observation of multimode lasing as evidenced by nonlinear output, spectral narrowing, and temporal coherence of laser emission. With consideration of high carrier-mobility associated with PDIs, hMDs of mp-PDI are attractive candidates on the way to achieve electrically driven OSSL. PMID:26580969

  3. Self-assembly approach to optical metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galisteo, J. F.; García-Santamaría, F.; Golmayo, D.; Juárez, B. H.; López, C.; Palacios, E.

    2005-02-01

    Photonic crystals can be viewed just as a subclass of a larger family of material systems called metamaterials in which the properties largely derive from the structure rather than from the material itself. Opals have only a relatively recent history as photonic bandgap materials and have received a strong thrust from their adequacy as scaffoldings for further templating other materials with photonic applications for instance. The tortuous route from materials to devices might perhaps find reward in the ease and low cost of fabrication of these materials. In this paper we present a review of recent work and work under way in our laboratory tending towards synthesis based on self-assembly to realize metamaterials in the optical range. This comprises the formation of the templates (opals) and subsequent synthesis of guest materials such as semiconductors, metals and insulators. The possibility of further processing allows additional two-dimensional and quasi-two-dimensional patterning for the design of new structures. In this paper we show how the raw matter can be checked for quality and learn how to use its optical properties to evaluate application potential. Issues relating to the optical properties (such as crystalline quality, finite size effects and infiltration with other materials) are examined. We show some examples where opals are used to pattern the growth of other materials with photonic applications (such as metals and semiconductors) and developments leading to both vertical and lateral engineering are shown.

  4. Self-assembled biomimetic superhydrophobic hierarchical arrays.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hongta; Dou, Xuan; Fang, Yin; Jiang, Peng

    2013-09-01

    Here, we report a simple and inexpensive bottom-up technology for fabricating superhydrophobic coatings with hierarchical micro-/nano-structures, which are inspired by the binary periodic structure found on the superhydrophobic compound eyes of some insects (e.g., mosquitoes and moths). Binary colloidal arrays consisting of exemplary large (4 and 30 ?m) and small (300 nm) silica spheres are first assembled by a scalable Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technology in a layer-by-layer manner. After surface modification with fluorosilanes, the self-assembled hierarchical particle arrays become superhydrophobic with an apparent water contact angle (CA) larger than 150. The throughput of the resulting superhydrophobic coatings with hierarchical structures can be significantly improved by templating the binary periodic structures of the LB-assembled colloidal arrays into UV-curable fluoropolymers by a soft lithography approach. Superhydrophobic perfluoroether acrylate hierarchical arrays with large CAs and small CA hysteresis can be faithfully replicated onto various substrates. Both experiments and theoretical calculations based on the Cassie's dewetting model demonstrate the importance of the hierarchical structure in achieving the final superhydrophobic surface states. PMID:23786830

  5. Self-assembly of smallest magnetic particles.

    PubMed

    Mehdizadeh Taheri, Sara; Michaelis, Maria; Friedrich, Thomas; Frster, Beate; Drechsler, Markus; Rmer, Florian M; Bsecke, Peter; Narayanan, Theyencheri; Weber, Birgit; Rehberg, Ingo; Rosenfeldt, Sabine; Frster, Stephan

    2015-11-24

    The assembly of tiny magnetic particles in external magnetic fields is important for many applications ranging from data storage to medical technologies. The development of ever smaller magnetic structures is restricted by a size limit, where the particles are just barely magnetic. For such particles we report the discovery of a kind of solution assembly hitherto unobserved, to our knowledge. The fact that the assembly occurs in solution is very relevant for applications, where magnetic nanoparticles are either solution-processed or are used in liquid biological environments. Induced by an external magnetic field, nanocubes spontaneously assemble into 1D chains, 2D monolayer sheets, and large 3D cuboids with almost perfect internal ordering. The self-assembly of the nanocubes can be elucidated considering the dipole-dipole interaction of small superparamagnetic particles. Complex 3D geometrical arrangements of the nanodipoles are obtained under the assumption that the orientation of magnetization is freely adjustable within the superlattice and tends to minimize the binding energy. On that basis the magnetic moment of the cuboids can be explained. PMID:26554000

  6. Functional Self-Assembled Nanofibers by Electrospinning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greiner, A.; Wendorff, J. H.

    Electrospinning constitutes a unique technique for the production of nanofibers with diameters down to the range of a few nanometers. In strong contrast to conventional fiber producing techniques, it relies on self-assembly processes driven by the Coulomb interactions between charged elements of the fluids to be spun to nanofibers. The transition from a macroscopic fluid object such as a droplet emerging from a die to solid nanofibers is controlled by a set of complex physical instability processes. They give rise to extremely high extensional deformations and strain rates during fiber formation causing among others a high orientational order in the nanofibers as well as enhanced mechanical properties. Electrospinning is predominantly applied to polymer based materials including natural and synthetic polymers, but, more recently, its use has been extended towards the production of metal, ceramic and glass nanofibers exploiting precursor routes. The nanofibers can be functionalized during electrospinning by introducing pores, fractal surfaces, by incorporating functional elements such as catalysts, quantum dots, drugs, enzymes or even bacteria. The production of individual fibers, random nonwovens, or orientationally highly ordered nonwovens is achieved by an appropriate selection of electrode configurations. Broad areas of application exist in Material and Life Sciences for such nanofibers, including not only optoelectronics, sensorics, catalysis, textiles, high efficiency filters, fiber reinforcement but also tissue engineering, drug delivery, and wound healing. The basic electrospinning process has more recently been extended towards compound co-electrospinning and precision deposition electrospinning to further broaden accessible fiber architectures and potential areas of application.

  7. Self-assembling holographic biosensors and biocomputers.

    SciTech Connect

    Light, Yooli Kim; Bachand, George David (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM); Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Trent, Amanda M. (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM)

    2006-05-01

    We present concepts for self-assembly of diffractive optics with potential uses in biosensors and biocomputers. The simplest such optics, diffraction gratings, can potentially be made from chemically-stabilized microtubules migrating on nanopatterned tracks of the motor protein kinesin. We discuss the fabrication challenges involved in patterning sub-micron-scale structures with proteins that must be maintained in aqueous buffers to preserve their activity. A novel strategy is presented that employs dry contact printing onto glass-supported amino-silane monolayers of heterobifunctional crosslinkers, followed by solid-state reactions of these cross-linkers, to graft patterns of reactive groups onto the surface. Successive solution-phase addition of cysteine-mutant proteins and amine-reactive polyethylene glycol allows assembly of features onto the printed patterns. We present data from initial experiments showing successful micro- and nanopatterning of lines of single-cysteine mutants of kinesin interleaved with lines of polyethylene, indicating that this strategy can be employed to arrays of features with resolutions suitable for gratings.

  8. Bio-Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells Incorporating Reaction Center and Reaction Center Plus Light Harvesting Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaghoubi, Houman

    Harvesting solar energy can potentially be a promising solution to the energy crisis now and in the future. However, material and processing costs continue to be the most important limitations for the commercial devices. A key solution to these problems might lie within the development of bio-hybrid solar cells that seeks to mimic photosynthesis to harvest solar energy and to take advantage of the low material costs, negative carbon footprint, and material abundance. The bio-photoelectrochemical cell technologies exploit biomimetic means of energy conversion by utilizing plant-derived photosystems which can be inexpensive and ultimately the most sustainable alternative. Plants and photosynthetic bacteria harvest light, through special proteins called reaction centers (RCs), with high efficiency and convert it into electrochemical energy. In theory, photosynthetic RCs can be used in a device to harvest solar energy and generate 1.1 V open circuit voltage and ~1 mA cm-2 short circuit photocurrent. Considering the nearly perfect quantum yield of photo-induced charge separation, efficiency of a protein-based solar cell might exceed 20%. In practice, the efficiency of fabricated devices has been limited mainly due to the challenges in the electron transfer between the protein complex and the device electrodes as well as limited light absorption. The overarching goal of this work is to increase the power conversion efficiency in protein-based solar cells by addressing those issues (i.e. electron transfer and light absorption). This work presents several approaches to increase the charge transfer rate between the photosynthetic RC and underlying electrode as well as increasing the light absorption to eventually enhance the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of bio-hybrid solar cells. The first approach is to decrease the electron transfer distance between one of the redox active sites in the RC and the underlying electrode by direct attachment of the of protein complex onto Au electrodes via surface exposed cysteine residues. This resulted in photocurrent densities as large as ~600 nA cm-2 while still the incident photon to generated electron quantum efficiency was as low as %3 x 10-4. 2- The second approach is to immobilize wild type RCs of Rhodobacter sphaeroides on the surface of a Au underlying electrode using self-assembled monolayers of carboxylic acid terminated oligomers and cytochrome c charge mediating layers, with a preferential orientation from the primary electron donor site. This approach resulted in EQE of up to 0.06%, which showed 200 times efficiency improvement comparing to the first approach. In the third approach, instead of isolated protein complexes, RCs plus light harvesting (LH) complexes were employed for a better photon absorption. Direct attachment of RC-LH1 complexes on Au working electrodes, resulted in 0.21% EQE which showed 3.5 times efficiency improvement over the second approach (700 times higher than the first approach). The main impact of this work is the harnessing of biological RCs for efficient energy harvesting in man-made structures. Specifically, the results in this work will advance the application of RCs in devices for energy harvesting and will enable a better understanding of bio and nanomaterial interfaces, thereby advancing the application of biological materials in electronic devices. At the end, this work offers general guidelines that can serve to improve the performance of bio-hybrid solar cells.

  9. Plasmon-Enhanced Light Harvesting of Chlorophylls on Near-Percolating Silver Films via One-Photon Anti-Stokes Upconversion

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ya-Lan; Nan, Fan; Liu, Xiao-Li; Zhou, Li; Peng, Xiao-Niu; Zhou, Zhang-Kai; Yu, Ying; Hao, Zhong-Hua; Wu, Yan; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Qu-Quan; Zhang, Zhenyu

    2013-01-01

    There exists a wealth of means of efficient utilization of solar energy in nature, with photosynthesis of chlorophylls as a prime example. Separately, artificially structured plasmonic materials are versatile in light harvesting and energy conversion. Using a simple and scalable design of near-percolating silver nanostructures, we demonstrate that the light-harvesting efficiency of chlorophylls can be drastically enhanced by tuning the plasmon frequency of the constituent silver nanoparticles to coincide with the maximal photon flux of sunlight. In particular, we show that the photon upconversion efficiency can be readily enhanced by over 20 folds, with the room-temperature fluorescence quantum yield increased by a factor of 2.63. The underlying mechanism for the upconversion enhancement is attributed to a one-electron-per-photon anti-Stokes process, involving absorption of a characteristic phonon mode of the chlorophylls. These findings suggest that chlorophylls can serve as molecular building blocks for high-efficiency light harvesting and solar energy conversion. PMID:23689426

  10. Magnetic manipulation of self-assembled colloidal asters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snezhko, Alexey; Aranson, Igor S.

    2011-09-01

    Self-assembled materials must actively consume energy and remain out of equilibrium to support structural complexity and functional diversity. Here we show that a magnetic colloidal suspension confined at the interface between two immiscible liquids and energized by an alternating magnetic field dynamically self-assembles into localized asters and arrays of asters, which exhibit locomotion and shape change. By controlling a small external magnetic field applied parallel to the interface, we show that asters can capture, transport, and position target microparticles. The ability to manipulate colloidal structures is crucial for the further development of self-assembled microrobots.

  11. Magnetic manipulation of self-assembled colloidal asters.

    SciTech Connect

    Snezhko, A.; Aranson, I. S.

    2011-09-01

    Self-assembled materials must actively consume energy and remain out of equilibrium to support structural complexity and functional diversity. Here we show that a magnetic colloidal suspension confined at the interface between two immiscible liquids and energized by an alternating magnetic field dynamically self-assembles into localized asters and arrays of asters, which exhibit locomotion and shape change. By controlling a small external magnetic field applied parallel to the interface, we show that asters can capture, transport, and position target microparticles. The ability to manipulate colloidal structures is crucial for the further development of self-assembled microrobots

  12. Peptide-directed self-assembly of hydrogels

    PubMed Central

    Kope?ek, Jind?ich; Yang, Jiyuan

    2009-01-01

    This review focuses on the self-assembly of macromolecules mediated by the biorecognition of peptide/protein domains. Structures forming ?-helices and ?-sheets have been used to mediate self-assembly into hydrogels of peptides, reactive copolymers and peptide motifs, block copolymers, and graft copolymers. Structural factors governing the self-assembly of these molecules into precisely defined three-dimensional structures (hydrogels) are reviewed. The incorporation of peptide motifs into hybrid systems, composed of synthetic and natural macromolecules, enhances design opportunities for new biomaterials when compared to individual components. PMID:18952513

  13. Insight into the Structure of Light Harvesting Complex II and its Stabilization in Detergent Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Cardoso, Mateus B; Smolensky, Dmitriy; Heller, William T; O'Neill, Hugh Michael

    2009-01-01

    The structure of spinach light-harvesting complex II (LHC II), stabilized in a solution of the detergent n-octyl-{beta}-d-glucoside (BOG), was investigated by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). Physicochemical characterization of the isolated complex indicated that it was pure (>95%) and also in its native trimeric state. SANS with contrast variation was used to investigate the properties of the protein-detergent complex at three different H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast match points, enabling the scattering properties of the protein and detergent to be investigated independently. The topological shape of LHC II, determined using ab initio shape restoration methods from the SANS data at the contrast match point of BOG, was consistent with the X-ray crystallographic structure of LHC II (Liu et al. Nature 2004 428, 287-292). The interactions of the protein and detergent were investigated at the contrast match point for the protein and also in 100% D{sub 2}O. The data suggested that BOG micelle structure was altered by its interaction with LHC II, but large aggregate structures were not formed. Indirect Fourier transform analysis of the LHC II/BOG scattering curves showed that the increase in the maximum dimension of the protein-detergent complex was consistent with the presence of a monolayer of detergent surrounding the protein. A model of the LHC II/BOG complex was generated to interpret the measurements made in 100% D{sub 2}O. This model adequately reproduced the overall size of the LHC II/BOG complex, but demonstrated that the detergent does not have a highly regular shape that surrounds the hydrophobic periphery of LHC II. In addition to demonstrating that natively structured LHC II can be produced for functional characterization and for use in artificial solar energy applications, the analysis and modeling approaches described here can be used for characterizing detergent-associated {alpha}-helical transmembrane proteins.

  14. Carotenoid and pheophytin on semiconductor surface: self-assembly and photoinduced electron transfer.

    PubMed

    Pan, Jingxi; Xu, Yunhua; Sun, Licheng; Sundstrm, Villy; Polvka, Toms

    2004-03-17

    Self-assembling of a carotenoid and pheophytin a into a supramolecular system was observed on the surface of nanocrystalline TiO2, and the photoinduced electron-transfer reactions within the system were studied by means of femtosecond transient absorption and laser flash photolysis techniques. Excitation of the pheophytin moiety results in ultrafast electron transfer from carotenoid to the excited pheophytin, creating a long-lived charge-separated state. Two decay pathways of the formed pheophytin a anion radical are proposed. The first is a direct back electron recombination forming a carotenoid triplet state on the nanosecond time scale, while the other is suggested to occur via electron injection to the TiO2 nanoparticle. These results demonstrate that a self-assembled carotenoid-pheophytin system leads to an efficient reductive quenching of the pheophytin moiety, suggesting that a similar mechanism can operate also in natural photosynthetic systems. Moreover, the formation of a long-lived charge-separated state indicates that such self-assembling strategy may be also considered for novel dye-sensitized solar cell constructions and other artificial systems aiming to mimic the electron-transfer chain in natural photosynthesis. PMID:15012133

  15. Cooperative Self-Assembly Transfer from Hierarchical Supramolecular Polymers to Gold Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Joo Paulo; Tardajos, Gloria; Stepanenko, Vladimir; Rdle, Alexander; Fernndez, Gustavo; Guerrero-Martnez, Andrs

    2015-11-24

    The transfer of information encoded by molecular subcomponents is a key phenomenon that regulates the biological inheritance in living organisms, yet there is a lack of understanding of related transfer mechanisms at the supramolecular level in artificial multicomponent systems. Our contribution to tackle this challenge has focused on the design of a thiolated ?-conjugated linking unit, whose hierarchical, cooperative self-assembly in nonpolar media can be efficiently transferred from the molecular to the nanoscopic level, thereby enabling the reversible self-assembly of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) clusters. The transfer of supramolecular information by the linking ?-system can only take place when a specific cooperative nucleation-elongation mechanism is operative, whereas low-ordered noncooperative assemblies formed below a critical concentration do not suffice to extend the order to the AuNP level. To the best of our knowledge, our approach has allowed for the first time a deep analysis of the hierarchy levels and thermodynamics involved in the self-assembly of AuNPs. PMID:26493583

  16. Toward three-dimensional microelectronic systems: directed self-assembly of silicon microcubes via DNA surface functionalization.

    PubMed

    Lmmerhardt, Nico; Merzsch, Stephan; Ledig, Johannes; Bora, Achyut; Waag, Andreas; Tornow, Marc; Mischnick, Petra

    2013-07-01

    The huge and intelligent processing power of three-dimensional (3D) biological "processors" like the human brain with clock speeds of only 0.1 kHz is an extremely fascinating property, which is based on a massively parallel interconnect strategy. Artificial silicon microprocessors are 7 orders of magnitude faster. Nevertheless, they do not show any indication of intelligent processing power, mostly due to their very limited interconnectivity. Massively parallel interconnectivity can only be realized in three dimensions. Three-dimensional artificial processors would therefore be at the root of fabricating artificially intelligent systems. A first step in this direction would be the self-assembly of silicon based building blocks into 3D structures. We report on the self-assembly of such building blocks by molecular recognition, and on the electrical characterization of the formed assemblies. First, planar silicon substrates were functionalized with self-assembling monolayers of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane for coupling of oligonucleotides (single stranded DNA) with glutaric aldehyde. The oligonucleotide immobilization was confirmed and quantified by hybridization with fluorescence-labeled complementary oligonucleotides. After the individual processing steps, the samples were analyzed by contact angle measurements, ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. Patterned DNA-functionalized layers were fabricated by microcontact printing (?CP) and photolithography. Silicon microcubes of 3 ?m edge length as model objects for first 3D self-assembly experiments were fabricated out of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers by a combination of reactive ion etching (RIE) and selective wet etching. The microcubes were then surface-functionalized using the same protocol as on planar substrates, and their self-assembly was demonstrated both on patterned silicon surfaces (88% correctly placed cubes), and to cube aggregates by complementary DNA functionalization and hybridization. The yield of formed aggregates was found to be about 44%, with a relative fraction of dimers of some 30%. Finally, the electrical properties of the formed dimers were characterized using probe tips inside a scanning electron microscope. PMID:23786592

  17. Insights into the Photoprotective Switch of the Major Light-harvesting Complex II (LHCII)

    PubMed Central

    Sunku, Kiran; de Groot, Huub. J. M.; Pandit, Anjali

    2013-01-01

    Light-harvesting antennae of the LHC family form transmembrane three-helix bundles of which two helices are interlocked by conserved arginine-glutamate (Arg-Glu) ion pairs that form ligation sites for chlorophylls. The antenna proteins of photosystem II have an intriguing dual function. In excess light, they can switch their conformation from a light-harvesting into a photoprotective state, in which the excess and harmful excitation energies are safely dissipated as heat. Here we applied magic angle spinning NMR and selective Arg isotope enrichment as a noninvasive method to analyze the Arg structures of the major light-harvesting complex II (LHCII). The conformations of the Arg residues that interlock helix A and B appear to be preserved in the light-harvesting and photoprotective state. Several Arg residues have very downfield-shifted proton NMR responses, indicating that they stabilize the complex by strong hydrogen bonds. For the Arg C? chemical shifts, differences are observed between LHCII in the active, light-harvesting and in the photoprotective, quenched state. These differences are attributed to a conformational change of the Arg residue in the stromal loop region. We conclude that the interlocked helices of LHCII form a rigid core. Consequently, the LHCII conformational switch does not involve changes in A/B helix tilting but likely involves rearrangements of the loops and helical segments close to the stromal and lumenal ends. PMID:23629658

  18. Inspection of directed self-assembly defects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Chikashi; Durant, Stephane; Lange, Steve; Harukawa, Ryota; Miyagi, Takemasa; Nagaswami, Venkat; Rincon Delgadillo, Paulina; Gronheid, Roel; Nealey, Paul

    2014-03-01

    Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) is considered as a potential patterning solution for future generation devices. One of the most critical challenges for translating DSA into high volume manufacturing is to achieve low defect density in the DSA patterning process. The defect inspection capability is fundamental to defect reduction in any process, particularly the DSA process, as it provides engineers with information on the numbers and types of defects. While the challenges of other candidates of new generation lithography are well known (for example, smaller size, noise level due to LER etc.), the DSA process causes certain defects that are unique. These defects are nearly planar and in a material which produces very little defect scattering signal. These defects, termed as "dislocation" and "disclination" have unique shapes and have very little material contrast. While large clusters of these unique defects are easy to detect, single dislocation and disclination defects offer considerable challenge during inspection. In this investigation, etching the DSA pattern into a silicon (Si) substrate structure to enhance defect signal and Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) is studied. We used a Rigorous Coupled-Wave Analysis (RCWA) method for solving Maxwell's equations to simulate the DSA unique defects and calculate inspection parameters. Controllable inspection parameters include various illumination and collection apertures, wavelength band, polarization, noise filtering, focus, pixel size, and signal processing. From the RCWA simulation, we compared SNR between "Post-SiN etch" and "Post-SiN+Si-substrate etch" steps. The study is also extended to investigate wafer-level data at post etch inspection. Both the simulations and inspection tool results showed dramatic signal and SNR improvements when the pattern was etched into the SiN+Si substrate allowing capture of DSA unique defect types.

  19. Self assembly: An approach to terascale integration

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, S.

    1993-09-01

    Surely one of the most remarkable accomplishments of modern times has been the miniaturization of electronic components, starting with discrete transistors and leading to Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) Circuits which will soon contain almost 100 million components in a few square centimeters. It led to an information processing industry that fuels almost every aspect of industrial societies and that has brought manifold benefits to their citizens. Although continuation of the miniaturization process is likely to produce even greater benefits, many experts are concerned that extrapolation of traditional silicon VLSI techniques will meet with increasingly severe difficulties. Some of these are fundamental in nature, e. g., granularity and fluctuations in semiconductors and interconnects and proximity effects such as tunneling. The first major difficulty to be encountered will be a rising cost of products due to increased complexity and difficulty of manufacturing and assembly. Such difficulties are likely to be seen in about 10 years when minimum component sizes are expected to decrease below 0.15--0.2 {mu}m. If alternatives to present VLSI techniques are to be available when needed, work on them must start now. At Los Alamos, we are exploring the feasibility of ultrasmall wires and switches that self-assemble themselves into computing elements and circuits. Their operation is based on the quantum properties of nanometer scale molecular clusters. This paper will describe our efforts in the development of these components and will summarize our work in four areas: (1) the development of conducting molecular wires, (2) conducting nanoparticle wires and switches based on the Coulomb Blockade principle, (3) the development of advanced architectures that benefit from the use of such components and that significantly advance the art of high performance computing, and (4) the development of novel methods for attaining sub-Angstrom 3-D non-destructive imaging.

  20. Differentially photo-crosslinked polymers enable self-assembling microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Jamal, Mustapha; Zarafshar, Aasiyeh M; Gracias, David H

    2011-01-01

    An important feature of naturally self-assembled systems such as leaves and tissues is that they are curved and have embedded fluidic channels that enable the transport of nutrients to, or removal of waste from, specific three-dimensional regions. Here we report the self-assembly of photopatterned polymers, and consequently microfluidic devices, into curved geometries. We discover that differentially photo-crosslinked SU-8 films spontaneously and reversibly curve on film de-solvation and re-solvation. Photolithographic patterning of the SU-8 films enables the self-assembly of cylinders, cubes and bidirectionally folded sheets. We integrate polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic channels with these SU-8 films to self-assemble curved microfluidic networks. PMID:22068594

  1. Enabling complex nanoscale pattern customization using directed self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Doerk, Gregory S; Cheng, Joy Y; Singh, Gurpreet; Rettner, Charles T; Pitera, Jed W; Balakrishnan, Srinivasan; Arellano, Noel; Sanders, Daniel P

    2014-01-01

    Block copolymer directed self-assembly is an attractive method to fabricate highly uniform nanoscale features for various technological applications, but the dense periodicity of block copolymer features limits the complexity of the resulting patterns and their potential utility. Therefore, customizability of nanoscale patterns has been a long-standing goal for using directed self-assembly in device fabrication. Here we show that a hybrid organic/inorganic chemical pattern serves as a guiding pattern for self-assembly as well as a self-aligned mask for pattern customization through cotransfer of aligned block copolymer features and an inorganic prepattern. As informed by a phenomenological model, deliberate process engineering is implemented to maintain global alignment of block copolymer features over arbitrarily shaped, 'masking' features incorporated into the chemical patterns. These hybrid chemical patterns with embedded customization information enable deterministic, complex two-dimensional nanoscale pattern customization through directed self-assembly. PMID:25512171

  2. Directed self-assembly of proteins into discrete radial patterns

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Garima; Prashanthi, Kovur; Thundat, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Unlike physical patterning of materials at nanometer scale, manipulating soft matter such as biomolecules into patterns is still in its infancy. Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with surface density gradient has the capability to drive biomolecules in specific directions to create hierarchical and discrete structures. Here, we report on a two-step process of self-assembly of the human serum albumin (HSA) protein into discrete ring structures based on density gradient of SAM. The methodology involves first creating a 2-dimensional (2D) polyethylene glycol (PEG) islands with responsive carboxyl functionalities. Incubation of proteins on such pre-patterned surfaces results in direct self-assembly of protein molecules around PEG islands. Immobilization and adsorption of protein on such structures over time evolve into the self-assembled patterns. PMID:23719678

  3. Enabling complex nanoscale pattern customization using directed self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerk, Gregory S.; Cheng, Joy Y.; Singh, Gurpreet; Rettner, Charles T.; Pitera, Jed W.; Balakrishnan, Srinivasan; Arellano, Noel; Sanders, Daniel P.

    2014-12-01

    Block copolymer directed self-assembly is an attractive method to fabricate highly uniform nanoscale features for various technological applications, but the dense periodicity of block copolymer features limits the complexity of the resulting patterns and their potential utility. Therefore, customizability of nanoscale patterns has been a long-standing goal for using directed self-assembly in device fabrication. Here we show that a hybrid organic/inorganic chemical pattern serves as a guiding pattern for self-assembly as well as a self-aligned mask for pattern customization through cotransfer of aligned block copolymer features and an inorganic prepattern. As informed by a phenomenological model, deliberate process engineering is implemented to maintain global alignment of block copolymer features over arbitrarily shaped, masking features incorporated into the chemical patterns. These hybrid chemical patterns with embedded customization information enable deterministic, complex two-dimensional nanoscale pattern customization through directed self-assembly.

  4. Directed flexibility: self-assembly of a supramolecular tetrahedron.

    PubMed

    Ludlow, James M; Xie, Tingzheng; Guo, Zaihong; Guo, Kai; Saunders, Mary Jane; Moorefield, Charles N; Wesdemiotis, Chrys; Newkome, George R

    2015-03-01

    Self-assembly of a tribenzo-27-crown-9 ether functionalized with six terpyridines generated (85%) an expanded tetrahedral structure comprised of four independent triangular surfaces interlinked by crown ether vertices. PMID:25649012

  5. Directed self-assembly of proteins into discrete radial patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakur, Garima; Prashanthi, Kovur; Thundat, Thomas

    2013-05-01

    Unlike physical patterning of materials at nanometer scale, manipulating soft matter such as biomolecules into patterns is still in its infancy. Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with surface density gradient has the capability to drive biomolecules in specific directions to create hierarchical and discrete structures. Here, we report on a two-step process of self-assembly of the human serum albumin (HSA) protein into discrete ring structures based on density gradient of SAM. The methodology involves first creating a 2-dimensional (2D) polyethylene glycol (PEG) islands with responsive carboxyl functionalities. Incubation of proteins on such pre-patterned surfaces results in direct self-assembly of protein molecules around PEG islands. Immobilization and adsorption of protein on such structures over time evolve into the self-assembled patterns.

  6. Urethane tetrathiafulvalene derivatives: synthesis, self-assembly and electrochemical properities

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiang; Lai, Guoqiao; Li, Zhifang; Ma, Yuwen; Yuan, Xiao; Shen, Yongjia

    2015-01-01

    Summary This paper reports the self-assembly of two new tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) derivatives that contain one or two urethane groups. The formation of nanoribbons was evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), which showed that the self-assembly ability of T 1 was better than that of T 2. The results revealed that more urethane groups in a molecule did not necessarily instigate self-assembly. UVvis and FTIR spectra were measured to explore noncovalent interactions. The driving forces for self-assembly of TTF derivatives were mainly hydrogen bond interactions and ?? stacking interactions. The electronic conductivity of the T 1 and T 2 films was tested by a four-probe method. PMID:26734083

  7. Supramolecular chirality in self-assembled peptide amphiphile nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Garifullin, Ruslan; Guler, Mustafa O

    2015-08-11

    Induced supramolecular chirality was investigated in the self-assembled peptide amphiphile (PA) nanosystems. Having shown that peptide chirality can be transferred to the covalently-attached achiral pyrene moiety upon PA self-assembly, the chiral information is transferred to molecular pyrene via weak noncovalent interactions. In the first design of a supramolecular chiral system, the chromophore was covalently attached to a peptide sequence (VVAGH) via an ε-aminohexanoic acid spacer. Covalent attachment yielded a PA molecule self-assembling into nanofibers. In the second design, the chromophore was encapsulated within the hydrophobic core of self-assembled nanofibers of another PA consisting of the same peptide sequence attached to lauric acid. We observed that supramolecular chirality was induced in the chromophore by PA assembly into chiral nanostructures, whether it was covalently attached, or noncovalently bound. PMID:26146021

  8. Understanding emergent functions in self-assembled fibrous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinko, Robert; Keten, Sinan

    2015-09-01

    Understanding self-assembly processes of nanoscale building blocks and characterizing their properties are both imperative for designing new hierarchical, network materials for a wide range of structural, optoelectrical, and transport applications. Although the characterization and choices of these material building blocks have been well studied, our understanding of how to precisely program a specific morphology through self-assembly still must be significantly advanced. In the recent study by Xie et al (2015 Nanotechnology 26 205602), the self-assembly of end-functionalized nanofibres is investigated using a coarse-grained molecular model and offers fundamental insight into how to control the structural morphology of nanofibrous networks. Varying nanoscale networks are observed when the molecular interaction strength is changed and the findings suggest that self-assembly through the tuning of molecular interactions is a key strategy for designing nanostructured networks with specific topologies.

  9. Differentially photo-crosslinked polymers enable self-assembling microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Jamal, Mustapha; Zarafshar, Aasiyeh M.; Gracias, David H.

    2012-01-01

    An important feature of naturally self-assembled systems such as leaves and tissues is that they are curved and have embedded fluidic channels that enable the transport of nutrients to, or removal of waste from, specific three-dimensional (3D) regions. Here, we report the self-assembly of photopatterned polymers, and consequently microfluidic devices, into curved geometries. We discovered that differentially photo-crosslinked SU-8 films spontaneously and reversibly curved upon film de-solvation and re-solvation. Photolithographic patterning of the SU-8 films enabled the self-assembly of cylinders, cubes, and bidirectionally folded sheets. We integrated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels with these SU-8 films to self-assemble curved microfluidic networks. PMID:22068594

  10. Self-Assembly of Structures with Addressable Complexity.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, William M; Frenkel, Daan

    2016-03-01

    The self-assembly of structures with "addressable complexity", where every component is distinct and is programmed to occupy a specific location within a target structure, is a promising route to engineering materials with precisely defined morphologies. Because systems with many components are inherently complicated, one might assume that the chances of successful self-assembly are extraordinarily small. Yet recent advances suggest otherwise: addressable structures with hundreds of distinct building blocks have been designed and assembled with nanometer precision. Despite this remarkable success, it is often challenging to optimize a self-assembly reaction to ensure that the intended structure is kinetically accessible. In this Perspective, we focus on the prediction of kinetic pathways for self-assembly and implications for the design of robust experimental protocols. The development of general principles to predict these pathways will enable the engineering of complex materials using a much wider range of building blocks than is currently possible. PMID:26862684

  11. Scaling up self-assembly: bottom-up approaches to macroscopic particle organization.

    PubMed

    Lash, M H; Fedorchak, M V; McCarthy, J J; Little, S R

    2015-07-28

    This review presents an overview of recent work in the field of non-Brownian particle self-assembly. Compared to nanoparticles that naturally self-assemble due to Brownian motion, larger, non-Brownian particles (d > 6 ?m) are less prone to autonomously organize into crystalline arrays. The tendency for particle systems to experience immobilization and kinetic arrest grows with particle radius. In order to overcome this kinetic limitation, some type of external driver must be applied to act as an artificial "thermalizing force" upon non-Brownian particles, inducing particle motion and subsequent crystallization. Many groups have explored the use of various agitation methods to overcome the natural barriers preventing self-assembly to which non-Brownian particles are susceptible. The ability to create materials from a bottom-up approach with these characteristics would allow for precise control over their pore structure (size and distribution) and surface properties (topography, functionalization and area), resulting in improved regulation of key characteristics such as mechanical strength, diffusive properties, and possibly even photonic properties. This review will highlight these approaches, as well as discuss the potential impact of bottom-up macroscale particle assembly. The applications of such technology range from customizable and autonomously self-assembled niche microenvironments for drug delivery and tissue engineering to new acoustic dampening, battery, and filtration materials, among others. Additionally, crystals made from non-Brownian particles resemble naturally derived materials such as opals, zeolites, and biological tissue (i.e. bone, cartilage and lung), due to their high surface area, pore distribution, and tunable (multilevel) hierarchy. PMID:25947543

  12. Self-assembly drugs: from micelles to nanomedicine.

    PubMed

    Messina, Paula V; Besada-Porto, Jose Miguel; Ruso, Juan M

    2014-03-01

    Self-assembly has fascinated many scientists over the past few decades. Rapid advances and widespread interest in the study of this subject has led to the synthesis of an ever-increasing number of elegant and intricate functional structures with sizes that approach nano- and mesoscopic dimensions. Today, it has grown into a mature field of modern science whose interfaces with many disciplines have provided invaluable opportunities for crossing boundaries for scientists seeking to design novel molecular materials exhibiting unusual properties, and for researchers investigating the structure and function of biomolecules. Consequently, self-assembly transcends the traditional divisional boundaries of science and represents a highly interdisciplinary field including nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Basically, self-assembly focuses on a wide range of discrete molecules or molecular assemblies and uses physical transformations to achieve its goals. In this Review, we present a comprehensive overview of the advances in the field of drug self-assembly and discuss in detail the synthesis, self-assembly behavior, and physical properties as well as applications. We refer the reader to past reviews dealing with colloidal molecules and colloidal self-assembly. In the first part, we will discuss, compare, and link the various bioinformatic procedures: Molecular Dynamics and Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship. The second section deals with the self-assembly behavior in more detail, in which we focus on several experimental techniques, selected according to the depth of knowledge obtained. The last part will review the advances in drug-protein assembly. Nature provides many examples of proteins that form their substrate binding sites by bringing together the component pieces in a process of self-assembly. We will focus in the understanding of physical properties and applications developing thereof. PMID:24444168

  13. Optimized Ratiometric Fluorescent Probes by Peptide Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yanbin; Zhan, Jie; Shen, Haosheng; Mao, Duo; Ji, Shenglu; Liu, Ruihua; Yang, Bing; Kong, Deling; Wang, Ling; Yang, Zhimou

    2016-01-01

    We report in this study on optimized ratiometric fluorescent probes by peptide self-assembly. The resulting self-assembled nanoprobes show extraordinary stability in aqueous solutions and extremely low background fluorescence in buffer solutions. Our optimized probes with much bigger ratiometric fluorescence ratios also show an enhanced cellular uptake, lower background noise, and much brighter fluorescence signal in the cell experiment. Our study provides a versatile and very useful strategy to design and produce fluorescent probes with better performance. PMID:26630460

  14. Electric Field Controlled Self-Assembly of Hierarchically Ordered Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Velichko, Yuri S.; Mantei, Jason R.; Bitton, Ronit; Carvajal, Daniel; Shull, Kenneth R.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2012-01-01

    Self-assembly in the presence of external forces is an adaptive, directed organization of molecular components under nonequilibrium conditions. While forces may be generated as a result of spontaneous interactions among components of a system, intervention with external forces can significantly alter the final outcome of self-assembly. Superimposing these intrinsic and extrinsic forces provides greater degrees of freedom to control the structure and function of self-assembling materials. In this work we investigate the role of electric fields during the dynamic self-assembly of a negatively charged polyelectrolyte and a positively charged peptide amphiphile in water leading to the formation of an ordered membrane. In the absence of electric fields, contact between the two solutions of oppositely charged molecules triggers the growth of closed membranes with vertically oriented fibrils that encapsulate the polyelectrolyte solution. This process of self-assembly is intrinsically driven by excess osmotic pressure of counterions, and the electric field is found to modify the kinetics of membrane formation, and also its morphology and properties. Depending on the strength and orientation of the field we observe a significant increase or decrease of up to nearly 100% in membrane thickness, as well as the controlled rotation of nanofiber growth direction by 90 degrees, resulting in a significant increase in mechanical stiffness. These results suggest the possibility of using electric fields to control structure in self-assembly processes involving diffusion of oppositely charged molecules. PMID:23166533

  15. Effect of polymerization on hierarchical self-assembly into nanosheets.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Taichi

    2015-01-20

    The oligomers consisting of phenyl-capped bithiophene and tetra(ethylene glycol)s linked by azide-alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition were synthesized. The relationship between the degree of polymerization and self-assembling ability was investigated in o-dichlorobenzene and dimethyl sulfoxide. From the absorption spectrum, it was confirmed that the critical degree of polymerization (CDP) for thiophene unit aggregation was 4. The morphology of the aggregated product was observed by atomic force microscopy. The oligomers 4mer and 5mer could not self-assemble into well-defined structures due to the weak driving force for the self-assembly. In the cases of 6mer and 7mer, aggregates with nonwell-defined and nanosheet structures coexisted. In the cases of 8mer and 9mer, the nanosheet was the main product. The critical point between 7mer and 8mer could be confirmed by different aggregation behaviors in the cooling process of the solution (nonsigmoidal and sigmoidal). In the cases of 8mer and 9mer, polymer folding prior to intermolecular self-assembly, which was supported by sigmoidal aggregation behavior, leads to the nanosheet formation. On the contrary, shorter oligomers than 8mer experience intermolecular aggregation prior to intramolecular polymer folding, which was supported by the nonsigmoidal aggregation behavior. This is the first report to prove the existence of CDP for folded polymer nanosheet formation which requires hierarchical self-assembly, i.e., polymer folding followed by intermolecular self-assembly. PMID:25526560

  16. Self-assembly of graphene oxide at interfaces.

    PubMed

    Shao, Jiao-Jing; Lv, Wei; Yang, Quan-Hong

    2014-08-27

    Due to its amphiphilic property, graphene oxide (GO) can achieve a variety of nanostructures with different morphologies (for example membranes, hydrogel, crumpled particles, hollow spheres, sack-cargo particles, Pickering emulsions, and so on) by self-assembly. The self-assembly is mostly derived from the self-concentration of GO sheets at various interfaces, including liquid-air, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces. This paper gives a comprehensive review of these assembly phenomena of GO at the three types of interfaces, the derived interfacial self-assembly techniques, and the as-obtained assembled materials and their properties. The interfacial self-assembly of GO, enabled by its fantastic features including the amphiphilicity, the negatively charged nature, abundant oxygen-containing groups and two-dimensional flexibility, is highlighted as an easy and well-controlled strategy for the design and preparation of functionalized carbon materials, and the use of self-assembly for uniform hybridization is addressed for preparing hybrid carbon materials with various functions. A number of new exciting and potential applications are also presented for the assembled GO-based materials. This contribution concludes with some personal perspectives on future challenges before interfacial self-assembly may become a major strategy for the application-targeted design and preparation of functionalized carbon materials. PMID:24852899

  17. Electronic coherence lineshapes reveal hidden excitonic correlations in photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Wong, Cathy Y; Alvey, Richard M; Turner, Daniel B; Wilk, Krystyna E; Bryant, Donald A; Curmi, Paul M G; Silbey, Robert J; Scholes, Gregory D

    2012-05-01

    The effective absorption cross-section of a molecule (acceptor) can be greatly increased by associating it with a cluster of molecules that absorb light and transfer the excitation energy to the acceptor molecule. The basic mechanism of such light harvesting by Frster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is well established, but recent experiments have revealed a new feature whereby excitation is coherently shared among donor and acceptor molecules during FRET. In the present study, two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy was used to examine energy transfer at ambient temperature in a naturally occurring light-harvesting protein (PE545 of the marine cryptophyte alga Rhodomonas sp. strain CS24). Quantum beating was observed across a range of excitation frequencies. The shapes of those features in the two-dimensional spectra were examined. Through simulations, we show that two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy provides a probe of the adiabaticity of the free energy landscape underlying light harvesting. PMID:22522260

  18. Linear length-dependent light-harvesting ability of silicon nanowire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yingfeng; Li, Meicheng; Li, Ruike; Fu, Pengfei; Jiang, Bing; Song, Dandan; Shen, Chao; Zhao, Yan; Huang, Rui

    2015-11-01

    Silicon nanowire (SiNW) is of great promising for photovoltaic applications due to its excellent performance in light-harvesting. Some experimental and theoretical results indicate its light-harvesting is dramatically length dependent, while there is still no investigation on this dependency. Through reliable simulations on the optical extinction and absorption spectra of SiNWs with varying lengths, we find that the light-harvesting ability of SiNW is linear with its length. For the SiNWs of the optimal diameter, 80 nm, the linearity between the light-concentration (light-absorption) multiples and length is about 133 ?m-1 (50 ?m-1). This linear relationship can be explained reasonably by the leaky modes theory.

  19. Structurally Flexible C3 -Symmetric Receptors for Molecular Recognition and Their Self-Assembly Properties.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ashutosh S; Sun, Shih-Sheng

    2015-12-01

    The bioinspired design and synthesis of building blocks and their assemblies by the supramolecular approach has ever fascinated scientists to utilize such artificial systems for numerous purposes. Flexibility is a basic feature of natural systems. However, in artificial systems this is difficult to control, especially if there is no preorganization of the component(s) of a system. We have designed and synthesized a series of C3 -symmetric N-bridged flexible receptors and successfully utilized them to selectively entrap the notorious and toxic nitrate anion in aqueous medium. This was the first report of highest binding affinity for the nitrate anion in aqueous medium. An impressive self-sorting phenomenon of reversibly formed hydrogen-bonded capsules, which self-assembled from flexible tripodal receptors having branches of similar size and bearing the same amide functionality, has been disclosed. Encapsulated nitrate anion has been further utilized for the photochemical [2+2] cycloaddition reaction for the synthesis of strained four-membered ring structures through dynamic self-assembly. In this Personal Account, we summarize these results showing the utility of naturally inspired flexibility in artificial systems. PMID:26202256

  20. Electronic structure of covalently linked zinc bacteriochlorin molecular arrays: insights into molecular design for NIR light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Kushal; Gonzlez-Delgado, Jessica M; Blew, James H; Jakubikova, Elena

    2014-10-23

    Pigment-based molecular arrays, especially those based on porphyrins, have been extensively studied as viable components of artificial light harvesting devices. Unlike porphyrins, bacteriochlorins absorb strongly in the NIR, yet little is known of the applicability of covalently linked bacteriochlorin-based arrays in this arena. To lay the foundation for future studies of excited state properties of such arrays, we present a systematic study of the ground state electronic structure of zinc bacteriochlorin (ZnBC) molecular arrays with various linkers and linker attachment sites (meso vs ?) employing density functional theory in combination with the energy-based fragmentation (EBF) method, and the EBF with molecular orbitals (EBF-MO) method. We find that the level of steric hindrance between the ZnBC and the linker is directly correlated with the amount of ground sate electronic interactions between the ZnBCs. Low steric hindrance between the ZnBC and the linker found in alkyne-linked arrays results in strongly interacting arrays that are characterized by a decrease in the HOMO-LUMO energy gaps, large orbital energy dispersion in the frontier region, and low ZnBC-linker rotational barriers. In contrast, sterically hindered linkers, such as aryl-based linkers, result in weakly interacting arrays characterized by increased orbital energy degeneracy in the frontier region and high ZnBC-linker rotational barriers. For all linkers studied, the level of steric hindrance decreases when the ZnBCs are linked at the ? position. Hence, ZnBC arrays that exhibit strong, weak, or intermediate ground-state electronic interactions can be realized by adjusting the level of steric hindrance with a judicious choice of the linker type and linker attachment site. Such tuning may be essential for design of light harvesting arrays with desired spectral properties. PMID:25237715

  1. Photoelectron transport tuning of self-assembled subbands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Zhengwei; Wang, Xinmin; Wu, Weidong; Wang, Xuemin; Peng, Liping; Zhao, Yan; Yan, Dawei; Jiang, Tao; Shen, Changle; Zhan, Zhiqiang; Cao, Linhong; Li, Weihua

    2016-02-01

    Conventionally, electrical transport of quantum subbands occurs at very high electric fields, indicating that the medium is easy to break down. In the experiments and practical applications, the extreme condition is difficult to satisfy. For quantum information transmission, low power consumption and convenient implementation are what we expect. In this paper, we engineered a special quantum dot array (QDA) embedded in a single crystal matrix. By external optical field excitation, we found a series of subbands made of the self-assembled QDA discretely located in the matrix. Changing the spacing between the quantum dots leads to the variation of subband spacing. Artificially manipulating the microcosmic QDA system can bring interesting macroscopic effects, such as an enhanced absorption intensity in the ultraviolet range, a blue-shift of the surface plasmon resonance peak and nonlinear absorption changed from two-photon absorption to saturated absorption. The intrinsic mechanism of the subband optical response was revealed due to the strong quantum confinement effect and dominant intraband transitions. The weak surface plasmon resonance absorption of Ni QDA gave an excellent figure of merit of the order of 10-10. The composite films are expectation enough to become a prime candidate for nonlinear applications near 532 nm. Therefore with interplay of the weak optical field and subbands, we achieved a tunable photoelectron transport process.Conventionally, electrical transport of quantum subbands occurs at very high electric fields, indicating that the medium is easy to break down. In the experiments and practical applications, the extreme condition is difficult to satisfy. For quantum information transmission, low power consumption and convenient implementation are what we expect. In this paper, we engineered a special quantum dot array (QDA) embedded in a single crystal matrix. By external optical field excitation, we found a series of subbands made of the self-assembled QDA discretely located in the matrix. Changing the spacing between the quantum dots leads to the variation of subband spacing. Artificially manipulating the microcosmic QDA system can bring interesting macroscopic effects, such as an enhanced absorption intensity in the ultraviolet range, a blue-shift of the surface plasmon resonance peak and nonlinear absorption changed from two-photon absorption to saturated absorption. The intrinsic mechanism of the subband optical response was revealed due to the strong quantum confinement effect and dominant intraband transitions. The weak surface plasmon resonance absorption of Ni QDA gave an excellent figure of merit of the order of 10-10. The composite films are expectation enough to become a prime candidate for nonlinear applications near 532 nm. Therefore with interplay of the weak optical field and subbands, we achieved a tunable photoelectron transport process. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Tables 1 and 2. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr07861j

  2. Structures Self-Assembled Through Directional Solidification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dynys, Frederick W.; Sayir, Ali

    2005-01-01

    Nanotechnology has created a demand for new fabrication methods with an emphasis on simple, low-cost techniques. Directional solidification of eutectics (DSE) is an unconventional approach in comparison to low-temperature biomimetic approaches. A technical challenge for DSE is producing microstructural architectures on the nanometer scale. In both processes, the driving force is the minimization of Gibb's free energy. Selfassembly by biomimetic approaches depends on weak interaction forces between organic molecules to define the architectural structure. The architectural structure for solidification depends on strong chemical bonding between atoms. Constituents partition into atomic-level arrangements at the liquid-solid interface to form polyphase structures, and this atomic-level arrangement at the liquid-solid interface is controlled by atomic diffusion and total undercooling due to composition (diffusion), kinetics, and curvature of the boundary phases. Judicious selection of the materials system and control of the total undercooling are the keys to producing structures on the nanometer scale. The silicon-titanium silicide (Si-TiSi2) eutectic forms a rod structure under isothermal cooling conditions. At the NASA Glenn Research Center, directional solidification was employed along with a thermal gradient to promote uniform rods oriented with the thermal gradient. The preceding photomicrograph shows the typical transverse microstructure of a solidified Si-TiSi2 eutectic composition. The dark and light gray regions are Si and TiSi2, respectively. Preferred rod orientation along the thermal gradient was poor. The ordered TiSi2 rods have a narrow distribution in diameter of 2 to 3 m, as shown. The rod diameter showed a weak dependence on process conditions. Anisotropic etch behavior between different phases provides the opportunity to fabricate structures with high aspect ratios. The photomicrographs show the resulting microstructure after a wet chemical etch and a dry plasma etch. The wet chemical etches the silicon away, exposing the TiSi2 rods, whereas plasma etching preferentially etches the Si-TiSi2 interface to form a crater. The porous architectures are applicable to fabricating microdevices or creating templates for part fabrication. The porous rod structure can serve as a platform for fabricating microplasma devices for propulsion or microheat exchangers and for fabricating microfilters for miniatured chemical reactors. Although more work is required, self-assembly from DSE can have a role in microdevice fabrication.

  3. The Self-Assembly of Nanogold for Optical Metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nidetz, Robert A.

    2011-12-01

    Optical metamaterials are an emerging field that enables manipulation of light like never before. Producing optical metamaterials requires sub-wavelength building blocks. The focus here was to develop methods to produce building blocks for metamaterials from nanogold. Electron-beam lithography was used to define an aminosilane patterned chemical template in order to electrostatically self-assemble citrate-capped gold nanoparticles. Equilibrium self-assembly was achieved in 20 minutes by immersing chemical templates into gold nanoparticle solutions. The number of nanoparticles that self-assembled on an aminosilane dot was controlled by manipulating the diameters of the dots and nanoparticles. Adding salt to the nanoparticle solution enabled the nanoparticles to self-assemble in greater numbers on the same sized dot. However, the preparation of the nanoparticle solution containing salt was sensitive to spikes in the salt concentration which led to aggregation of the nanoparticles and non-specific deposition. Gold nanorods were also electrostatically self-assembled. Polyelectrolyte-coated gold nanorods were patterned with limited success. A polyelectrolyte chemical template also patterned gold nanorods, but the gold nanorods preferred to pattern on the edges of the pattern. Ligand-exchanged gold nanorods displayed the best self-assembly, but suffered from slow kinetics. Self-assembled gold nanoparticles were cross-linked with poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride). The poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) allowed additional nanoparticles to pattern on top of the already patterned nanoparticles. Cross-linked nanoparticles were lifted-off of the substrate by sonication in a sodium hydroxide solution. The presence of van der Waals forces and/or amine bonding prevent the nanogold from lifting-off without sonication. A good-solvent evaporation process was used to self-assemble poly(styrene) coated gold nanoparticles into spherical microbead assemblies. The use of larger nanoparticles and larger poly(styrene) ligands resulted in larger and smaller assemblies, respectively. Stirring the solution resulted in a wider size distribution of microbead assemblies due to the stirring's shear forces. Two undeveloped methods to self-assemble nanogold were investigated. One method used block-copolymer thin films as chemical templates to direct the electrostatic self-assembly of nanogold. Another method used gold nanorods that are passivated with different ligands on different faces. The stability of an alkanethiol ligand in different acids and bases was investigated to determine which materials could be used to produce Janus nanorods.

  4. A path to designing self-assembling surface patterns on particles for self-assembly of the particles themselves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindgren, Oskar; Edlund, Erik; Nilsson Jacobi, Martin

    2014-03-01

    Patchy colloids are promising candidates for self-assembly of metamaterials since directional attraction and high specificity reduces the ambiguity of the low energy state, this simplifies the design of self-assembling building blocks. However, the large scale fabrication of colloids with specific patterns becomes more difficult as the complexity of the surface pattern increases. Self-organiziation of the surface patterns themselves have been suggested as a promising fabrication method due to the new types of patterns it makes accessible. We present a method for designing self-assembling patterns in multiple components system on particle surfaces. The method is based on an analytical treatment of an effective interaction representation of real systems. As an example, we use a simplified model of Alkalethoils-on-gold to show how a limited amount of system parameters can be tuned in order to cause self-assembly of desired surface patterns. We perform in silico self-assembly of surface patterns on spherical colloids, the patterns then causes the colloids themselves to self-assemble into various geometric target structures like strings, membranes, cubic aggregates and lattices. OL and MNJ acknowledge support from the SuMo Biomaterials center of excellence.

  5. Hierarchical Self-Assembly of Discrete Organoplatinum(II) Metallacycles with Polysaccharide via Electrostatic Interactions and Their Application for Heparin Detection.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li-Jun; Ren, Yuan-Yuan; Wu, Nai-Wei; Sun, Bin; Ma, Jian-Qiu; Zhang, Li; Tan, Hongwei; Liu, Minghua; Li, Xiaopeng; Yang, Hai-Bo

    2015-09-16

    In recent past years, investigation of hierarchical self-assembly for constructing artificial functional materials has attracted considerable attention. Discrete metallacycles based on coordination bonds have proven to be valid scaffolds to fabricate various supramolecular polymers or smart soft matter through hierarchical self-assembly. Here, we present the first example of the hierarchical self-assembly of discrete metallacycles by taking advantage of the positive charges of the organoplatinum(II) metallacycle skeleton through multiple electrostatic interactions. Heparin, a sulfated glycosaminoglycan polymer that has been widely used as an anticoagulant drug, was selected to induce hierarchical self-assembly because of the existence of multiple negative charges. To investigate the hierarchical self-assembly process, an aggregation-induced emission (AIE) active moiety, tetra-phenylethylene (TPE), was introduced onto the metallacycle via coordination-driven self-assembly. Photophysical studies revealed that the addition of heparin to the tris-TPE metallacycles solution resulted in dramatic fluorescence enhancement, which supported the aggregation between metallacycle and heparin driven by multiple electrostatic interactions. Moreover, the entangled pearl-necklace networks were obtained through hierarchical self-assembly as detected by SEM, TEM, and LSCM experiments. In particular, single bead-like chains were observed in the AFM and TEM images, which provided direct, visual evidence for the aggregation of positively charged metallacycles and negatively charged heparin. More interestingly, further optical study demonstrated that this TPE-decorated metallacycle could function as a turn-on fluorescent probe for heparin detection with high sensitivity and selectivity. Thus, this research presents the first example of counter polyanion-induced hierarchical self-assembly of discrete metallacycles and provides a "proof-of-principle" method for heparin sensing and binding. PMID:26322626

  6. Selective Surface Acoustic Wave-Based Organophosphorus Sensor Employing a Host-Guest Self-Assembly Monolayer of ?-Cyclodextrin Derivative.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yong; Mu, Ning; Shao, Shengyu; Yang, Liu; Wang, Wen; Xie, Xiao; He, Shitang

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembly and molecular imprinting technologies are very attractive technologies for the development of artificial recognition systems and provide chemical recognition based on need and not happenstance. In this paper, we employed a b-cyclodextrin derivative surface acoustic wave (SAW) chemical sensor for detecting the chemical warfare agents (CWAs) sarin (O-Isoprophyl methylphosphonofluoridate, GB). Using sarin acid (isoprophyl hydrogen methylphosphonate) as an imprinting template, mono[6-deoxy-6-[(mercaptodecamethylene)thio

  7. Functional architectures based on self-assembly of bio-inspired dipeptides: Structure modulation and its photoelectronic applications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chengjun; Liu, Kai; Li, Junbai; Yan, Xuehai

    2015-11-01

    Getting inspiration from nature and further developing functional architectures provides an effective way to design innovative materials and systems. Among bio-inspired materials, dipeptides and its self-assembled architectures with functionalities have recently been the subject of intensive studies. However, there is still a great challenge to explore its applications likely due to the lack of effective adaptation of their self-assembled structures as well as a lack of understanding of the self-assembly mechanisms. In this context, taking diphenylalanine (FF, a core recognition motif for molecular self-assembly of the Alzheimer's β-amyloid polypeptides) as a model of bio-inspired dipeptides, recent strategies on modulation of dipeptide-based architectures were introduced with regard to both covalent (architectures modulation by coupling functional groups) and non-covalent ways (controlled architectures by different assembly pathways). Then, applications are highlighted in some newly emerging fields of innovative photoelectronic devices and materials, such as artificial photosynthetic systems for renewable solar energy storage and renewable optical waveguiding materials for optoelectronic devices. At last, the challenges and future perspectives of these bio-inspired dipeptides are also addressed. PMID:26365127

  8. Multiscale simulation on a light-harvesting molecular triad.

    PubMed

    Su, Guoxiong; Czader, Arkadiusz; Homouz, Dirar; Bernardes, Gabriela; Mateen, Sana; Cheung, Margaret S

    2012-07-26

    We have investigated the effect of solvation and confinement on an artificial photosynthetic material, carotenoid-porphyrin-C(60) molecular triad, by a multiscale approach and an enhanced sampling technique. We have developed a combined approach of quantum chemistry, statistical physics, and all-atomistic molecular dynamics simulation to determine the partial atomic charges of the ground-state triad. To fully explore the free energy landscape of triad, the replica exchange method was applied to enhance the sampling efficiency of the simulations. The confinement effects on the triad were modeled by imposing three sizes of spherocylindrical nanocapsules. The triad is structurally flexible under ambient conditions, and its conformation distribution is manipulated by the choice of water models and confinement. Two types of water models (SPC/E and TIP3P) are used for solvation. When solvated by SPC/E water, whose HOH angle follows an ideal tetrahedron, the structural characteristics of triad is compact in the bulk systems. However, under a certain nanosized confinement that drastically disrupts hydrogen bond networks in solvent, the triad favors an extended configuration. By contrast, the triad solvated by TIP3P water shows a set of U-shaped conformations in the confinement. We have shown that a slight structural difference in the two water models with the same dipole moment can have great distinction in water density, water orientation, and the number of hydrogen bonds in the proximity of a large flexible compound such as the triad. Subsequently, it has direct impact on the position of the triad in a confinement as well as the distribution of conformations at the interface of liquid and solid in a finite-size system. PMID:22352456

  9. Preparation of native and recombinant light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex.

    PubMed

    Rühle, Wolfgang; Paulsen, Harald

    2004-01-01

    Procedures to isolate native light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex (LHCIIb) and to reconstitute recombinant LHCIIb are described. Separation of trimeric from monomeric forms and free pigment by sucrose density-gradient ultracentrifugation can be applied to both native and reconstituted complexes. The preparations are characterized by their pigment composition, protein pattern and spectral properties. PMID:15187272

  10. Preparation of native and recombinant light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex.

    PubMed

    Rühle, Wolfgang; Paulsen, Harald

    2011-01-01

    Procedures to isolate native light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex (LHCIIb) and to reconstitute recombinant LHCIIb are described. Separation of trimeric from monomeric forms and free pigment by sucrose density-gradient ultracentrifugation can be applied to both native and reconstituted complexes. The preparations are characterized by their pigment composition, protein pattern, and spectral properties. PMID:20960126

  11. Observation of Quantum Coherence in Light-Harvesting Complex II by Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calhoun, Tessa R.; Ginsberg, Naomi S.; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    Two-dimensional Fourier transform electronic spectroscopy is employed to investigate quantum beating in the major light-harvesting complex II. Long-lived excitonic coherence is observed for the first time in a higher plant system between two different types of chlorophyll molecules.

  12. Studying the Effect of Light Quality on the Size of the Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhoz, Romualdo; Quiles, Maria J.

    2003-01-01

    In this article the effect of light quality on the size of the photosystem II (PSII) light harvesting complex (LHCII) is studied by measuring the chlorophyll fluorescence emitted by leaf sections of oat ("Avena sativa," var. Prevision) plants previously treated with either white light or with light filtered through blue, green, red or farred

  13. Plasmon enhanced light harvesting: multiscale modeling of the FMO protein coupled with gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Andreussi, Oliviero; Caprasecca, Stefano; Cupellini, Lorenzo; Guarnetti-Prandi, Ingrid; Guido, Ciro A; Jurinovich, Sandro; Viani, Lucas; Mennucci, Benedetta

    2015-05-28

    Plasmonic systems, such as metal nanoparticles, are becoming increasingly important in spectroscopies and devices because of their ability to enhance, even by several orders of magnitude, the photophysical properties of neighboring systems. In particular, it has been shown both theoretically and experimentally that combining nanoplasmonic devices with natural light-harvesting proteins substantially increases the fluorescence and absorption properties of the system. This kind of biohybrid device can have important applications in the characterization and design of efficient light-harvesting systems. In the present work, the FMO light-harvesting protein was combined with gold nanoparticles of different sizes, and its photophysical properties were characterized using a multiscale quantum-mechanical classical-polarizable and continuum model (QM/MMPol/PCM). By optimal tuning of the plasmon resonance of the metal nanoparticles, fluorescence enhancements of up to 2 orders of magnitude were observed. Orientation effects were found to be crucial: amplifications by factors of up to 300 were observed for the absorption process, while the radiative decay of the emitting state increased at most by a factor of 10, mostly as a result of poor alignment of the emitting state with the considered metal aggregates. Despite being a limiting factor for high-fluorescence-enhancement devices, the strong orientation dependence may represent an important feature of the natural light-harvesting system that could allow selective enhancement of a specific excited state of the complex. PMID:25419640

  14. Studying the Effect of Light Quality on the Size of the Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhoz, Romualdo; Quiles, Maria J.

    2003-01-01

    In this article the effect of light quality on the size of the photosystem II (PSII) light harvesting complex (LHCII) is studied by measuring the chlorophyll fluorescence emitted by leaf sections of oat ("Avena sativa," var. Prevision) plants previously treated with either white light or with light filtered through blue, green, red or farred…

  15. The variability of light-harvesting complexes in aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs.

    PubMed

    Selyanin, Vadim; Hauruseu, Dzmitry; Koblížek, Michal

    2016-04-01

    Light-harvesting capacity was investigated in six species of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP) bacteria using absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, and pigment analyses. Aerobically grown AAP cells contained approx. 140-1800 photosynthetic reaction centers per cell, an order of magnitude less than purple non-sulfur bacteria grown semiaerobically. Three of the studied AAP species did not contain outer light-harvesting complexes, and the size of their reaction center core complexes (RC-LH1 core complexes) varied between 29 and 36 bacteriochlorophyll molecules. In AAP species containing accessory antennae, the size was frequently reduced, providing between 5 and 60 additional bacteriochlorophyll molecules. In Roseobacter litoralis, it was found that cells grown at a higher light intensity contained more reaction centers per cell, while the size of the light-harvesting complexes was reduced. The presented results document that AAP species have both the reduced number and size of light-harvesting complexes which is consistent with the auxiliary role of phototrophy in this bacterial group. PMID:26482589

  16. Self-Assembly for the Synthesis of Functional Biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Stephanopoulos, Nicholas; Ortony, Julia H.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2012-01-01

    The use of self-assembly for the construction of functional biomaterials is a highly promising and exciting area of research, with great potential for the treatment of injury or disease. By using multiple noncovalent interactions, coded into the molecular design of the constituent components, self-assembly allows for the construction of complex, adaptable, and highly tunable materials with potent biological effects. This review describes some of the seminal advances in the use of self-assembly to make novel systems for regenerative medicine and biology. Materials based on peptides, proteins, DNA, or hybrids thereof have found application in the treatment of a wide range of injuries and diseases, and this review outlines the design principles and practical applications of these systems. Most of the examples covered focus on the synthesis of hydrogels for the scaffolding or transplantation of cells, with an emphasis on the biological, mechanical, and structural properties of the resulting materials. In addition, we will discuss the distinct advantages conferred by self-assembly (compared with traditional covalent materials), and present some of the challenges and opportunities for the next generation of self-assembled biomaterials. PMID:23457423

  17. Sequential programmable self-assembly: Role of cooperative interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halverson, Jonathan D.; Tkachenko, Alexei V.

    2016-03-01

    We propose a general strategy of "sequential programmable self-assembly" that enables a bottom-up design of arbitrary multi-particle architectures on nano- and microscales. We show that a naive realization of this scheme, based on the pairwise additive interactions between particles, has fundamental limitations that lead to a relatively high error rate. This can be overcome by using cooperative interparticle binding. The cooperativity is a well known feature of many biochemical processes, responsible, e.g., for signaling and regulations in living systems. Here we propose to utilize a similar strategy for high precision self-assembly, and show that DNA-mediated interactions provide a convenient platform for its implementation. In particular, we outline a specific design of a DNA-based complex which we call "DNA spider," that acts as a smart interparticle linker and provides a built-in cooperativity of binding. We demonstrate versatility of the sequential self-assembly based on spider-functionalized particles by designing several mesostructures of increasing complexity and simulating their assembly process. This includes a number of finite and repeating structures, in particular, the so-called tetrahelix and its several derivatives. Due to its generality, this approach allows one to design and successfully self-assemble virtually any structure made of a "GEOMAG" magnetic construction toy, out of nanoparticles. According to our results, once the binding cooperativity is strong enough, the sequential self-assembly becomes essentially error-free.

  18. Ultrathin efficient perovskite solar cells employing a periodic structure of a composite hole conductor for elevated plasmonic light harvesting and hole collection.

    PubMed

    Long, Mingzhu; Chen, Zefeng; Zhang, Tiankai; Xiao, Yubin; Zeng, Xiaoliang; Chen, Jian; Yan, Keyou; Xu, Jianbin

    2016-03-17

    We developed a molecule/polymer composite hole transporting material (HTM) with a periodic microstructure for morphology replication of a corrugated Au electrode, which in combination plays a dual role in the optical and electronic enhancement of high performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs). The electro-optics revealed that perovskite couldn't readily extinct the red light even though the thickness increased to 370 nm, but we found that the quasi periodic microstructure composite (PMC) HTM in combination with the conformal Au electrode could promote the absorption through the enhanced cavity effects, leading to comparable absorption even using much thinner perovskite (240 nm). We identified that the cavity was the combination of Fabry-Pérot interferometer and surface plasmonic resonance, with light harvesting enhancement through surface plasmon polariton or waveguide modes that propagate in the plane of the perovskite layer. On the other hand, the PMC HTM increased hole conductivity by one order of magnitude with respect to standard spiro-OMeTAD HTM due to molecular packing and self-assembly, embodying traceable hole mobility and density elevation up to 3 times, and thus the hysteresis was greatly avoided. Owing to dual optical and electronic enhancement, the PMC PSC afforded high efficiency PSC using as thin as 240 nm perovskite layer, delivering a Voc of 1.05 V, Jsc of 22.9 mA cm(-2), FF of 0.736, and efficiency amounting to 17.7% PCE, the highest efficiency with ultrathin perovskite layer. PMID:26377231

  19. Large Femtosecond Two-Photon Absorption Cross-Sections of Fullerosome Vesicle Nanostructures Derived from Highly Photoresponsive Amphiphilic C60-Light-Harvesting Fluorene Dyad

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Min; Nalla, Venkatram; Jeon, Seaho; Mamidala, Venkatesh; Ji, Wei; Tan, Loon-Seng; Cooper, Thomas; Chiang, Long Y.

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrated ultrafast femtosecond nonlinear optical (NLO) absorption characteristics of bilayered fullerosome vesicle nanostructures derived from molecular self-assembly of amphiphilic oligo(ethylene glycolated) C60-(light-harvesting diphenylaminofluorene antenna). Fullerene conjugates were designed to enhance photoresponse in a femtosecond time scale by applying an isomerizable periconjugation linker between the C60 cage and diphenylaminofluorene antenna subunit in an intramolecular contact distance of only < 3.0 . Morphology of C60(>DPAF-EG12C1)-based fullerosome nanovesicles in H2O was characterized to consist of a bilayered shell with a sphere diameter of 2070 nm and a chromophore shell-width of 9.010 nm, fitting well with a head-to-head packing configuration of the molecular length. At the estimated effective nanovesicle concentration as low as 5.5 10?8 MV (molecular molar concentration of 5.0 10?4 M) in H2O, two-photon absorption (2PA) phenomena were found to be the dominating photophysical events showing a large molar concentration-insensitive 2PA cross-section value equivalent to 8500 GM in a form of nanovesicles, on average. The observed NLO characteristics led to a sharp trend of efficient light-transmittance intensity reduction at the input laser intensity above 100 GW/cm2. PMID:22022620

  20. Allelic variations of a light harvesting chlorophyll A/B protein gene (Lhcb1) associated with agronomic traits in Barley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP) is one of the most abundant chloroplast proteins in plants. Its main function is to collect and transfer light energy to photosynthetic reaction centers. However, the roles of different LHCPs in light-harvesting antenna systems remain obscure. ...

  1. Functional analysis of light-harvesting-like protein 3 (LIL3) and its light-harvesting chlorophyll-binding motif in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kaori; Takabayashi, Atsushi; Tanaka, Ayumi; Tanaka, Ryouichi

    2014-01-10

    The light-harvesting complex (LHC) constitutes the major light-harvesting antenna of photosynthetic eukaryotes. LHC contains a characteristic sequence motif, termed LHC motif, consisting of 25-30 mostly hydrophobic amino acids. This motif is shared by a number of transmembrane proteins from oxygenic photoautotrophs that are termed light-harvesting-like (LIL) proteins. To gain insights into the functions of LIL proteins and their LHC motifs, we functionally characterized a plant LIL protein, LIL3. This protein has been shown previously to stabilize geranylgeranyl reductase (GGR), a key enzyme in phytol biosynthesis. It is hypothesized that LIL3 functions to anchor GGR to membranes. First, we conjugated the transmembrane domain of LIL3 or that of ascorbate peroxidase to GGR and expressed these chimeric proteins in an Arabidopsis mutant lacking LIL3 protein. As a result, the transgenic plants restored phytol-synthesizing activity. These results indicate that GGR is active as long as it is anchored to membranes, even in the absence of LIL3. Subsequently, we addressed the question why the LHC motif is conserved in the LIL3 sequences. We modified the transmembrane domain of LIL3, which contains the LHC motif, by substituting its conserved amino acids (Glu-171, Asn-174, and Asp-189) with alanine. As a result, the Arabidopsis transgenic plants partly recovered the phytol-biosynthesizing activity. However, in these transgenic plants, the LIL3-GGR complexes were partially dissociated. Collectively, these results indicate that the LHC motif of LIL3 is involved in the complex formation of LIL3 and GGR, which might contribute to the GGR reaction. PMID:24275650

  2. Guided and magnetic self-assembly of tunable magnetoceptive gels

    PubMed Central

    Tasoglu, S.; Yu, C.H.; Gungordu, H.I.; Guven, S.; Vural, T.; Demirci, U.

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of components into complex functional patterns at microscale is common in nature, and used increasingly in numerous disciplines such as optoelectronics, microfabrication, sensors, tissue engineering and computation. Here, we describe the use of stable radicals to guide the self-assembly of magnetically tunable gels, which we call ‘magnetoceptive’ materials at the scale of hundreds of microns to a millimeter, each can be programmed by shape and composition, into heterogeneous complex structures. Using paramagnetism of free radicals as a driving mechanism, complex heterogeneous structures are built in the magnetic field generated by permanent magnets. The overall magnetic signature of final structure is erased via an antioxidant vitamin E, subsequent to guided self-assembly. We demonstrate unique capabilities of radicals and antioxidants in fabrication of soft systems with heterogeneity in material properties, such as porosity, elastic modulus and mass density; then in bottom-up tissue engineering and finally, levitational and selective assembly of microcomponents. PMID:25175148

  3. Bioprinting synthetic self-assembling peptide hydrogels for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Loo, Yihua; Hauser, Charlotte A E

    2015-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a disruptive technology for creating organotypic constructs for high-throughput screening and regenerative medicine. One major challenge is the lack of suitable bioinks. Short synthetic self-assembling peptides are ideal candidates. Several classes of peptides self-assemble into nanofibrous hydrogels resembling the native extracellular matrix. This is a conducive microenvironment for maintaining cell survival and physiological function. Many peptides also demonstrate stimuli-responsive gelation and tuneable mechanical properties, which facilitates extrusion before dispensing and maintains the shape fidelity of the printed construct in aqueous media. The inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability bodes well for in vivo applications as implantable tissues and drug delivery matrices, while their short length and ease of functionalization facilitates synthesis and customization. By applying self-assembling peptide inks to bioprinting, the dynamic complexity of biological tissue can be recreated, thereby advancing current biomedical applications of peptide hydrogel scaffolds. PMID:26694103

  4. Self-assembling peptide scaffolds for regenerative medicine

    PubMed Central

    Matson, John B.

    2012-01-01

    Biomaterials made from self-assembling, short peptides and peptide derivatives have great potential to generate powerful new therapies in regenerative medicine. The high signaling capacity and therapeutic efficacy of peptidic scaffolds has been established in several animal models, and the development of more complex, hierarchical structures based on peptide materials is underway. This highlight discusses several classes of self-assembling peptide-based materials, including peptide amphiphiles, Fmoc-peptides, self-complementary ionic peptides, hairpin peptides, and others. The self-assembly designs, bioactive signalling strategies, and cell signalling capabilities of these bioactive materials are reported. The future challenges of the field are also discussed, including short-term goals such as integration with biopolymers and traditional implants, and long term goals, such as immune system programming, subcellular targeting, and the development of highly integrated scaffold systems. PMID:22080255

  5. Functional self-assembled lipidic systems derived from renewable resources

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Julian R.; Samateh, Malick; John, George

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembled lipidic amphiphile systems can create a variety of multi-functional soft materials with value-added properties. When employing natural reagents and following biocatalytic syntheses, self-assembling monomers may be inherently designed for degradation, making them potential alternatives to conventional and persistent polymers. By using non-covalent forces, self-assembled amphiphiles can form nanotubes, fibers, and other stimuli responsive architectures prime for further applied research and incorporation into commercial products. By viewing these lipid derivatives under a lens of green principles, there is the hope that in developing a structure–function relationship and functional smart materials that research may remain safe, economic, and efficient. PMID:26766923

  6. Directed self-assembly of DNA tiles into complex nanocages.

    PubMed

    Tian, Cheng; Li, Xiang; Liu, Zhiyu; Jiang, Wen; Wang, Guansong; Mao, Chengde

    2014-07-28

    Tile-based self-assembly is a powerful method in DNA nanotechnology and has produced a wide range of well-defined nanostructures. But the resulting structures are relatively simple. Increasing the structural complexity and the scope of the accessible structures is an outstanding challenge in molecular self-assembly. A strategy to partially address this problem by introducing flexibility into assembling DNA tiles and employing directing agents to control the self-assembly process is presented. To demonstrate this strategy, a range of DNA nanocages have been rationally designed and constructed. Many of them can not be assembled otherwise. All of the resulting structures have been thoroughly characterized by gel electrophoresis and cryogenic electron microscopy. This strategy greatly expands the scope of accessible DNA nanostructures and would facilitate technological applications such as nanoguest encapsulation, drug delivery, and nanoparticle organization. PMID:24623616

  7. Actinide Sequestration Using Self-Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports

    SciTech Connect

    Fryxell, Glen E.; Lin, Yuehe; Fiskum, Sandra K.; Birnbaum, Jerome C.; Wu, Hong; Kemner, K. M.; Kelly, Shelley

    2005-03-01

    Surfactant templated synthesis of mesoporous ceramics provides a versatile foundation upon which to create high efficiency environmental sorbents. These nanoporous ceramic oxides condense a huge amount of surface area into a very small volume. The ceramic oxide interface is receptive to surface functionalization through molecular self-assembly. The marriage of mesoporous ceramics with self-assembled monolayer chemistry creates a powerful new class of environmental sorbent materials called self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS). These SAMMS materials are highly efficient sorbents, whose interfacial chemistry can be fine-tuned to selectively sequester a specific target species, such as heavy metals, tetrahedral oxometallate anions and radionuclides. Details addressing the design, synthesis and characterization of SAMMS materials specifically designed to sequester actinides, of central importance to the environmental clean-up necessary after 40 years of weapons grade plutonium production, as well as evaluation of their binding affinities and kinetics are presented.

  8. Self-assembly of tunable protein suprastructures from recombinant oleosin

    PubMed Central

    Vargo, Kevin B.; Parthasarathy, Ranganath; Hammer, Daniel A.

    2012-01-01

    Using recombinant amphiphilic proteins to self-assemble suprastructures would allow precise control over surfactant chemistry and the facile incorporation of biological functionality. We used cryo-TEM to confirm self-assembled structures from recombinantly produced mutants of the naturally occurring sunflower protein, oleosin. We studied the phase behavior of protein self-assembly as a function of solution ionic strength and protein hydrophilic fraction, observing nanometric fibers, sheets, and vesicles. Vesicle membrane thickness correlated with increasing hydrophilic fraction for a fixed hydrophobic domain length. The existence of a bilayer membrane was corroborated in giant vesicles through the localized encapsulation of hydrophobic Nile red and hydrophilic calcein. Circular dichroism revealed that changes in nanostructural morphology in this family of mutants was unrelated to changes in secondary structure. Ultimately, we envision the use of recombinant techniques to introduce novel functionality into these materials for biological applications. PMID:22753512

  9. Self-assembled tunable networks of sticky colloidal particles.

    PubMed

    Demortire, Arnaud; Snezhko, Alexey; Sapozhnikov, Maksim V; Becker, Nicholas; Proslier, Thomas; Aranson, Igor S

    2014-01-01

    Surfaces decorated with dense arrays of microscopic fibres exhibit unique materials properties, including superhydrophobicity and low friction. Nature relies on 'hairy' surfaces to protect blood capillaries from wear and infection (endothelial glycocalyx). Here we report on the discovery of self-assembled tunable networks of microscopic polymer fibres ranging from wavy colloidal 'fur' to highly interconnected networks. The networks emerge via dynamic self-assembly in an alternating electric field from a non-aqueous suspension of 'sticky' polymeric colloidal particles with a controlled degree of polymerization. The resulting architectures are tuned by the frequency and amplitude of the electric field and surface properties of the particles. We demonstrate, using atomic layer deposition, that the networks can serve as a template for a transparent conductor. These self-assembled tunable materials are promising candidates for large surface area electrodes in batteries and organic photovoltaic cells, as well as for microfluidic sensors and filters. PMID:24445324

  10. Self-assembled tunable networks of sticky colloidal particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demortire, Arnaud; Snezhko, Alexey; Sapozhnikov, Maksim V.; Becker, Nicholas; Proslier, Thomas; Aranson, Igor S.

    2014-01-01

    Surfaces decorated with dense arrays of microscopic fibres exhibit unique materials properties, including superhydrophobicity and low friction. Nature relies on hairy surfaces to protect blood capillaries from wear and infection (endothelial glycocalyx). Here we report on the discovery of self-assembled tunable networks of microscopic polymer fibres ranging from wavy colloidal fur to highly interconnected networks. The networks emerge via dynamic self-assembly in an alternating electric field from a non-aqueous suspension of sticky polymeric colloidal particles with a controlled degree of polymerization. The resulting architectures are tuned by the frequency and amplitude of the electric field and surface properties of the particles. We demonstrate, using atomic layer deposition, that the networks can serve as a template for a transparent conductor. These self-assembled tunable materials are promising candidates for large surface area electrodes in batteries and organic photovoltaic cells, as well as for microfluidic sensors and filters.

  11. Advances in self-assembled chitosan nanomaterials for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yu; Wang, Shengpeng; Wang, Yitao; Wang, Xiaohui; Wang, Qun; Chen, Meiwan

    2014-11-15

    Nanomaterials based on chitosan have emerged as promising carriers of therapeutic agents for drug delivery due to good biocompatibility, biodegradability, and low toxicity. Chitosan originated nanocarriers have been prepared by mini-emulsion, chemical or ionic gelation, coacervation/precipitation, and spray-drying methods. As alternatives to these traditional fabrication methods, self-assembled chitosan nanomaterials show significant advantages and have received growing scientific attention in recent years. Self-assembly is a spontaneous process by which organized structures with particular functions and properties could be obtained without additional complicated processing or modification steps. In this review, we focus on recent progress in the design, fabrication and physicochemical aspects of chitosan-based self-assembled nanomaterials. Their applications in drug delivery of different therapeutic agents are also discussed in details. PMID:25109677

  12. Guided and magnetic self-assembly of tunable magnetoceptive gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tasoglu, S.; Yu, C. H.; Gungordu, H. I.; Guven, S.; Vural, T.; Demirci, U.

    2014-09-01

    Self-assembly of components into complex functional patterns at microscale is common in nature, and used increasingly in numerous disciplines such as optoelectronics, microfabrication, sensors, tissue engineering and computation. Here, we describe the use of stable radicals to guide the self-assembly of magnetically tunable gels, which we call ‘magnetoceptive’ materials at the scale of hundreds of microns to a millimeter, each can be programmed by shape and composition, into heterogeneous complex structures. Using paramagnetism of free radicals as a driving mechanism, complex heterogeneous structures are built in the magnetic field generated by permanent magnets. The overall magnetic signature of final structure is erased via an antioxidant vitamin E, subsequent to guided self-assembly. We demonstrate unique capabilities of radicals and antioxidants in fabrication of soft systems with heterogeneity in material properties, such as porosity, elastic modulus and mass density; then in bottom-up tissue engineering and finally, levitational and selective assembly of microcomponents.

  13. Self-assembly properties of a model RING domain

    PubMed Central

    Kentsis, Alex; Gordon, Ronald E.; Borden, Katherine L. B.

    2002-01-01

    RING domains act in a variety of essential cellular processes but have no general function ascribed to them. Here, we observe that purified arenaviral protein Z, constituted almost entirely by its RING domain, self-assembles in vitro into spherical structures that resemble functional bodies formed by Z in infected cells. By using a variety of biophysical methods we provide a thermodynamic and kinetic framework for the RING-dependent self-assembly of Z. Assembly appears coupled to substantial conformational reorganization and changes in zinc coordination of site II of the RING. Thus, the rate-limiting nature of conformational reorganization observed in the folding of monomeric proteins can also apply to the assembly of macromolecular scaffolds. These studies describe a unique mechanism of nonfibrillar homogeneous self-assembly and suggest a general function of RINGs in the formation of macromolecular scaffolds that are positioned to integrate biochemical processes in cells. PMID:11792829

  14. Equation of State for Phospholipid Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Derek

    2016-01-01

    Phospholipid self-assembly is the basis of biomembrane stability. The entropy of transfer from water to self-assembled micelles of lysophosphatidylcholines and diacyl phosphatidylcholines with different chain lengths converges to a common value at a temperature of 44°C. The corresponding enthalpies of transfer converge at ∼-18°C. An equation of state for the free energy of self-assembly formulated from this thermodynamic data depends on the heat capacity of transfer as the sole parameter needed to specify a particular lipid. For lipids lacking calorimetric data, measurement of the critical micelle concentration at a single temperature suffices to define an effective heat capacity according to the model. Agreement with the experimental temperature dependence of the critical micelle concentration is then good. The predictive powers should extend also to amphiphile partitioning and the kinetics of lipid-monomer transfer. PMID:26745421

  15. Self-assembled liposomal nanoparticles in photodynamic therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sadasivam, Magesh; Avci, Pinar; Gupta, Gaurav K.; Lakshmanan, Shanmugamurthy; Chandran, Rakkiyappan; Huang, Ying-Ying; Kumar, Raj; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) employs the combination of non-toxic photosensitizers (PS) together with harmless visible light of the appropriate wavelength to produce reactive oxygen species that kill unwanted cells. Because many PS are hydrophobic molecules prone to aggregation, numerous drug delivery vehicles have been tested to solubilize these molecules, render them biocompatible and enhance the ease of administration after intravenous injection. The recent rise in nanotechnology has markedly expanded the range of these nanoparticulate delivery vehicles beyond the well-established liposomes and micelles. Self-assembled nanoparticles are formed by judicious choice of monomer building blocks that spontaneously form a well-oriented 3-dimensional structure that incorporates the PS when subjected to the appropriate conditions. This self-assembly process is governed by a subtle interplay of forces on the molecular level. This review will cover the state of the art in the preparation and use of self-assembled liposomal nanoparticles within the context of PDT. PMID:24348377

  16. Multivalent Protein Assembly Using Monovalent Self-Assembling Building Blocks

    PubMed Central

    Petkau-Milroy, Katja; Sonntag, Michael H.; Colditz, Alexander; Brunsveld, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Discotic molecules, which self-assemble in water into columnar supramolecular polymers, emerged as an alternative platform for the organization of proteins. Here, a monovalent discotic decorated with one single biotin was synthesized to study the self-assembling multivalency of this system in regard to streptavidin. Next to tetravalent streptavidin, monovalent streptavidin was used to study the protein assembly along the supramolecular polymer in detail without the interference of cross-linking. Upon self-assembly of the monovalent biotinylated discotics, multivalent proteins can be assembled along the supramolecular polymer. The concentration of discotics, which influences the length of the final polymers at the same time dictates the amount of assembled proteins. PMID:24152447

  17. Versatile bisethynyl[60]fulleropyrrolidine scaffolds for mimicking artificial light-harvesting photoreaction centers.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Adrian; Bietlot, Emerance; Zanelli, Alberto; Malicka, Joanna M; Armaroli, Nicola; Bonifazi, Davide

    2015-01-12

    Fullerene-based tetrads, triads, and dyads are presented in which [60]fulleropyrrolidine synthons are linked to an oligo(p-phenyleneethynylene) antenna at the nitrogen atom and to electron-donor phenothiazine (PTZ) and/or ferrocene (Fc) moieties at the ? carbon of the pyrrolidine cycle through an acetylene spacer. Cyclic voltammetry and UV/ Vis absorption spectra evidence negligible ground-state electronic interactions among the subunits. By contrast, strong excited-state interactions are detected upon selective light irradiation of the antenna (UV) or of the fullerene scaffold (Vis). When only PTZ is present as electron donor, photoinduced electron transfer to the fullerene unit is unambiguously detected in benzonitrile, but this is not the case when Fc is part of the multicomponent system. These results suggest that Fc is a formidable energy transfer quencher and caution should be used in choosing it as electron donor to promote efficient charge separation in multicomponent arrays. PMID:25418041

  18. Interfacial and mechanical properties of self-assembling systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvajal, Daniel

    Self-assembly is a fascinating phenomena where interactions between small subunits allow them to aggregate and form complex structures that can span many length scales. These self-assembled structures are especially important in biology where they are necessary for life as we know it. This dissertation is a study of three very different self-assembling systems, all of which have important connections to biology and biological systems. Drop shape analysis was used to study the interfacial assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers at the oil/water interface. When biologically functionalyzed copolymers are used, this system can serve as a model for receptor-ligand interactions that are used by cells to perform many activities, such as interact with their surroundings. The physical properties of a self-assembling membrane system were quantified using membrane inflation and swelling experiments. These types of membranes may have important applications in medicine such as drug eluting (growth factor eluting) scaffolds to aid in wound healing. The factors affecting the properties of bis(leucine) oxalamide gels were also explored. We believe that this particular system will serve as an appropriate model for biological gels that are made up of fiber-like and/or rod-like structures. During the course of the research presented in this dissertation, many new techniques were developed specifically to allow/aid the study of these distinct self-assembling systems. For example, numerical methods were used to predict drop stability for drop shape analysis experiments and the methods used to create reproducibly create self-assembling membranes were developed specifically for this purpose. The development of these new techniques is an integral part of the thesis and should aid future students who work on these projects. A number ongoing projects and interesting research directions for each one of the projects is also presented.

  19. Hydrazine-mediated construction of nanocrystal self-assembly materials.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ding; Liu, Min; Lin, Min; Bu, Xinyuan; Luo, Xintao; Zhang, Hao; Yang, Bai

    2014-10-28

    Self-assembly is the basic feature of supramolecular chemistry, which permits to integrate and enhance the functionalities of nano-objects. However, the conversion of self-assembled structures to practical materials is still laborious. In this work, on the basis of studying one-pot synthesis, spontaneous assembly, and in situ polymerization of aqueous semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs), NC self-assembly materials are produced and applied to design high performance white light-emitting diode (WLED). In producing self-assembly materials, the additive hydrazine (N2H4) is curial, which acts as the promoter to achieve room-temperature synthesis of aqueous NCs by favoring a reaction-controlled growth, as the polyelectrolyte to weaken inter-NC electrostatic repulsion and therewith facilitate the one-dimensional self-assembly, and in particular as the bifunctional monomers to polymerize with mercapto carboxylic acid-modified NCs via in situ amidation reaction. This strategy is versatile for mercapto carboxylic acid-modified aqueous NCs, for example CdS, CdSe, CdTe, CdSe(x)Te(1-x), and Cd(y)Hg(1-y)Te. Because of the multisite modification with carboxyl, the NCs act as macromonomers, thus producing cross-linked self-assembly materials with excellent thermal, solvent, and photostability. The assembled NCs preserve strong luminescence and avoid unpredictable fluorescent resonance energy transfer, the main problem in design WLED from multiple NC components. These advantages allow the fabrication of NC-based WLED with high color rendering index (86), high luminous efficacy (41 lm/W), and controllable color temperature. PMID:25296278

  20. Probing peptide amphiphile self-assembly in blood serum.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Arijit; Buettner, Christian J; Manos, Aaron A; Wallace, Ashley J; Tweedle, Michael F; Goldberger, Joshua E

    2014-12-01

    There has been recent interest in designing smart diagnostic or therapeutic self-assembling peptide or polymeric materials that can selectively undergo morphological transitions to accumulate at a disease site in response to specific stimuli. Developing approaches to probe these self-assembly transitions in environments that accurately amalgamate the diverse plethora of proteins, biomolecules, and salts of blood is essential for creating systems that function in vivo. Here, we have developed a fluorescence anisotropy approach to probe the pH-dependent self-assembly transition of peptide amphiphile (PA) molecules that transform from spherical micelles at pH 7.4 to nanofibers under more acidic pH's in blood serum. By mixing small concentrations of a Ru(bipy)3(2+)-tagged PA with a Gd(DO3A)-tagged PA having the same lipid-peptide sequence, we showed that the pH dependence of self-assembly is minimally affected and can be monitored in mouse blood serum. These PA vehicles can be designed to transition from spherical micelles to nanofibers in the pH range 7.0-7.4 in pure serum. In contrast to the typical notion of serum albumin absorbing isolated surfactant molecules and disrupting self-assembly, our experiments showed that albumin does not bind these anionic PAs and instead promotes nanofibers due to a molecular crowding effect. Finally, we created a medium that replicates the transition pH in serum to within 0.08 pH units and allows probing self-assembly behavior using conventional spectroscopic techniques without conflicting protein signals, thus simplifying the development pathway from test tube to in vivo experimentation for stimuli-responsive materials. PMID:25347387

  1. Wetting layer evolution upon quantum dots self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Y. Y.; Li, X. L.; Yang, G. W.

    2009-12-01

    A quantitatively thermodynamic model has been established to address the problem of the wetting layer evolution upon the quantum dots (QDs) self-assembly based on the embedded islands. It was found that the mismatch induced by the embedded islands breaks the balance of the strain energies between the islands and the wetting layer, and then results in the island's volume increasing and the wetting layer's thickness decreasing for creating a thermodynamic equilibrium upon the QD self-assembly. The stable thickness of the wetting layer can be determined by balancing the strain energies between the islands and the wetting layer. The theoretical results are in agreement with the experiments.

  2. Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly of Functionalized Supramolecular Metallacycles

    PubMed Central

    Northrop, Brian H.; Yang, Hai-bo; Stang, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    Coordination-driven self-assembly that combines rigid ditopic Pt(II) metal acceptors and bispyridyl organic donors provides a facile means of synthesizing well-defined metallacycles or predetermined size and geometry. Functionalization of the component acceptor or donor building blocks allows for the preparation of multifunctional supramolecular materials wherein the stoichiometry and position of individual functional moieties can be precisely controlled. The design, self-assembly, and applications of polyfunctional supramolecules incorporating functional moieties with host-guest, photonic, materials, and self-organizational properties is discussed. PMID:19030534

  3. Nano-engineering by optically directed self-assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Furst, Eric; Dunn, Elissa; Park, Jin-Gyu; Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Sainis, Sunil; Merrill, Jason; Dufresne, Eric; Reichert, Matthew D.; Brotherton, Christopher M.; Bogart, Katherine Huderle Andersen; Molecke, Ryan A.; Koehler, Timothy P.; Bell, Nelson Simmons; Grillet, Anne Mary; Gorby, Allen D.; Singh, John; Lele, Pushkar; Mittal, Manish

    2009-09-01

    Lack of robust manufacturing capabilities have limited our ability to make tailored materials with useful optical and thermal properties. For example, traditional methods such as spontaneous self-assembly of spheres cannot generate the complex structures required to produce a full bandgap photonic crystals. The goal of this work was to develop and demonstrate novel methods of directed self-assembly of nanomaterials using optical and electric fields. To achieve this aim, our work employed laser tweezers, a technology that enables non-invasive optical manipulation of particles, from glass microspheres to gold nanoparticles. Laser tweezers were used to create ordered materials with either complex crystal structures or using aspherical building blocks.

  4. Controlled self-assembly of biomolecular rods on structured substrates.

    PubMed

    Moghimian, Pouya; Harnau, Ludger; Srot, Vesna; de la Peña, Francisco; Farahmand Bafi, Nima; Facey, Sandra J; van Aken, Peter A

    2016-04-01

    We report on the evaporative self-assembly and orientational ordering of semi-flexible spherocylindrical M13 phages on asymmetric stranded webs of thin amorphous carbon films. Although the phages were dispersed with a low concentration in the isotropic phase, the substrate edges induced nematic ordering and bending of the phages. As revealed by transmission electron microscopy, phages were aligned parallel to the curved substrate edges. This two-dimensional self-assembly on structured substrates opens a new route to the design of structures of orientationally ordered semi-flexible biomacromolecules. PMID:26917247

  5. Self-Assembled Organic Nanocrystals with Strong Nonlinear Optical Response.

    PubMed

    Rosenne, Shaked; Grinvald, Eran; Shirman, Elijah; Neeman, Lior; Dutta, Sounak; Bar-Elli, Omri; Ben-Zvi, Regev; Oksenberg, Eitan; Milko, Petr; Kalchenko, Vyacheslav; Weissman, Haim; Oron, Dan; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2015-11-11

    Facile molecular self-assembly affords a new family of organic nanocrystals that, unintuitively, exhibit a significant nonlinear optical response (second harmonic generation, SHG) despite the relatively small molecular dipole moment of the constituent molecules. The nanocrystals are self-assembled in aqueous media from simple monosubstituted perylenediimide (PDI) molecular building blocks. Control over the crystal dimensions can be achieved via modification of the assembly conditions. The combination of a simple fabrication process with the ability to generate soluble SHG nanocrystals with tunable sizes may open new avenues in the area of organic SHG materials. PMID:26447786

  6. Self-Assembly of Tyrosine into Controlled Supramolecular Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Mnard-Moyon, Ccilia; Venkatesh, V; Krishna, K Vijaya; Bonachera, Fanny; Verma, Sandeep; Bianco, Alberto

    2015-08-10

    In the context of designing novel amino acid nanostructures, the capacity of tyrosine alone to form well-ordered structures under different conditions was explored. It was observed that Tyr can self-assemble into well-defined morphologies when deposited onto surfaces for transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The influence of various parameters that can modulate the self-assembly process, including concentration of the amino acid, aging time, and solvent, was studied. Different supramolecular architectures, including nanoribbons, branched structures, and fern-like arrangements were also observed. PMID:26179867

  7. Self-assembly and manipulation of particles on drop surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janjua, M.; Fischer, I. S.; Singh, P.

    2013-11-01

    We have recently shown that particles adsorbed on the surface of a drop can be self-assembled at the poles or the equator of the drop by applying a uniform electric field, and that this method can be used to separate on the surface of a drop particles experiencing positive dielectrophoresis from those experiencing negative dielectrophoresis. In this talk we show that the frequency of the electric field is an important parameter which can be used to modify the distribution of self-assembled monolayers.

  8. Scanning tunneling microscopy of self-assembled viral nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anacleto, Benjamin; Steinsultz, Nat; Sharma, Prashant

    2010-03-01

    We use scanning tunneling microscopy to investigate self-assembled monolayers of M13 bacteriophages on graphite surface. The bacteriophages we use have gold binding peptide motifs on their outer protein coat (1?m long, 10 nm diameter) allowing us to self-assemble gold nanoparticles on graphite. Using scanning tunneling microscopy we are able to resolve sub-molecular structure of the protein coat of M13 bacteriophage. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy allows us to study the binding of gold nanoparticles to the peptide motif on the bacteriophage.

  9. Structural simulations of nanomaterials self-assembled from ionic macrocycles.

    SciTech Connect

    van Swol, Frank B.; Medforth, Craig John

    2010-10-01

    Recent research at Sandia has discovered a new class of organic binary ionic solids with tunable optical, electronic, and photochemical properties. These nanomaterials, consisting of a novel class of organic binary ionic solids, are currently being developed at Sandia for applications in batteries, supercapacitors, and solar energy technologies. They are composed of self-assembled oligomeric arrays of very large anions and large cations, but their crucial internal arrangement is thus far unknown. This report describes (a) the development of a relevant model of nonconvex particles decorated with ions interacting through short-ranged Yukawa potentials, and (b) the results of initial Monte Carlo simulations of the self-assembly binary ionic solids.

  10. Backfilled, self-assembled monolayers and methods of making same

    DOEpatents

    Fryxell, Glen E. (Kennewick, WA); Zemanian, Thomas S. (Richland, WA); Addleman, R. Shane (Benton City, WA); Aardahl, Christopher L. (Sequim, WA); Zheng, Feng (Richland, WA); Busche, Brad (Raleigh, NC); Egorov, Oleg B. (West Richland, WA)

    2009-06-30

    Backfilled, self-assembled monolayers and methods of making the same are disclosed. The self-assembled monolayer comprises at least one functional organosilane species and a substantially random dispersion of at least one backfilling organosilane species among the functional organosilane species, wherein the functional and backfilling organosilane species have been sequentially deposited on a substrate. The method comprises depositing sequentially a first organosilane species followed by a backfilling organosilane species, and employing a relaxation agent before or during deposition of the backfilling organosilane species, wherein the first and backfilling organosilane species are substantially randomly dispersed on a substrate.

  11. Structure and Order of Phosphonic Acid-Based Self-Assembled Based Self-Assembled

    SciTech Connect

    Dubey, M.; Weidner, T; Gamble, L; Castner, D

    2010-01-01

    Organophosphonic acid self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on oxide surfaces have recently seen increased use in electrical and biological sensor applications. The reliability and reproducibility of these sensors require good molecular organization in these SAMs. In this regard, packing, order, and alignment in the SAMs is important, as it influences the electron transport measurements. In this study, we examine the order of hydroxyl- and methyl-terminated phosphonate films deposited onto silicon oxide surfaces by the tethering by aggregation and growth method using complementary, state-of-art surface characterization tools. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy and in situ sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy are used to study the order of the phosphonate SAMs in vacuum and under aqueous conditions, respectively. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry results show that these samples form chemically intact monolayer phosphonate films. NEXAFS and SFG spectroscopy showed that molecular order exists in the octadecylphosphonic acid and 11-hydroxyundecylphosphonic acid SAMs. The chain tilt angles in these SAMs were approximately 37{sup o} and 45{sup o}, respectively.

  12. Differential Self-Assembly of Novel Redox Crown Ethers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merithew, Andrew William

    Retinal prosthesis relies on the stimulation of living nerve tissue behind the rods and cones of the eye. The current state of the art relies on electrodes controlled by cameras which directly stimulate the nerve tissue to elicit a response to an image. These types of retinal implants have allowed for short-term crude vision in patients but have had limited long term success due to external battery packs and electroplating of the implanted electrodes. Ionic stimulation is one of the principle mechanisms that sensory neurons utilize in the generation of an action potential. In a complex transduction pathway, ionic gradients are constantly altered inside the neuron by voltage sensors or mechanically controlled gates embedded in the neuronal cell membrane; responsible for the open and close state of these ion channels. It has been demonstrated that local concentration increases of K + by direct injection proximal to the nerve can elicit nerve firing at a concentration of 15-20 mM (3-4X normal concentration) increase in K + concentration. As part of a larger concept of integrating biotechnology with nanofabrication, the materials for the development of potassium selective sequestration/storage and delivery were developed in the form of a redox-gated K+ selective crown ether. The structure of the anthraquinone-based crown was deduced by computational simulation and stoichiometry of the complex confirmed by mass spec. along with 2D diffusion NMR techniques. In this instance, the stoichiometry could be controlled by the addition of different salts to give a 1:1 complex with large, aromatic anions and a 2:1 complex with smaller anions such as triflate. The synthesis of the molecule was optimized by computational modeling and simulations of transport through an artificial membrane. The selectivity of the architecture developed was specific for K+ over Na+, the other major ionic species present in the blood. The mechanism influencing the self-assembly of this class of compounds has much to do with the breakage of intramolecular pi-stacking interactions and the formation of stronger intermolecular pi-stacking interactions. Finally, the transport of K+ through nanoporous membranes and single nanopores with novel PEG-type polymeric dispersions is demonstrated. This thesis concludes with future work toward developing more advanced transporters and proposes novel uses for anthraquinone-appended polymers as proton exchange membranes and DNA-base pair interchelators.

  13. Surface chemistry: Self-assembling Sierpi?ski triangles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tait, Steven L.

    2015-05-01

    Defect-free Sierpi?ski triangles can be self-assembled on a silver surface through a combination of molecular design and thermal annealing. Three-fold halogen-bonding arrays and precise surface epitaxy preclude structural errors, thus enabling the high-level complexity of these supramolecular fractal patterns.

  14. Self-assembled domain structures: From micro- to nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shur, Vladimir; Akhmatkhanov, Andrey; Lobov, Alexey; Turygin, Anton

    2015-06-01

    The recent achievements in studying the self-assembled evolution of micro- and nanoscale domain structures in uniaxial single crystalline ferroelectrics lithium niobate and lithium tantalate have been reviewed. The results obtained by visualization of static domain patterns and kinetics of the domain structure by different methods from common optical microscopy to more sophisticated scanning probe microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and confocal Raman microscopy, have been discussed. The kinetic approach based on various nucleation processes similar to the first-order phase transition was used for explanation of the domain structure evolution scenarios. The main mechanisms of self-assembling for nonequilibrium switching conditions caused by screening ineffectiveness including correlated nucleation, domain growth anisotropy, and domain-domain interaction have been considered. The formation of variety of self-assembled domain patterns such as fractal-type, finger and web structures, broad domain boundaries, and dendrites have been revealed at each of all five stages of domain structure evolution during polarization reversal. The possible applications of self-assembling for micro- and nanodomain engineering were reviewed briefly. The review covers mostly the results published by our research group.

  15. Nanoparticle self-assembly: A loop of two rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeom, Bongjun; Kotov, Nicholas A.

    2014-03-01

    The spontaneous organization of semiconductor nanoparticles into uniform pairs of parallel nanorods bridged at their ends illustrates the potential of hierarchical self-assembly processes for the formation of inorganic superstructures with complexity comparable to that of small self-organized biological aggregates.

  16. Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Paul C.; Patterson, Dustin P.; Saboda, Kendall N.; Edwards, Ethan J.; Miettinen, Heini M.; Basu, Gautam; Thielges, Megan C.; Douglas, Trevor

    2016-02-01

    The chemistry of highly evolved protein-based compartments has inspired the design of new catalytically active materials that self-assemble from biological components. A frontier of this biodesign is the potential to contribute new catalytic systems for the production of sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen. Here, we show the encapsulation and protection of an active hydrogen-producing and oxygen-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase, sequestered within the capsid of the bacteriophage P22 through directed self-assembly. We co-opted Escherichia coli for biomolecular synthesis and assembly of this nanomaterial by expressing and maturing the EcHyd-1 hydrogenase prior to expression of the P22 coat protein, which subsequently self assembles. By probing the infrared spectroscopic signatures and catalytic activity of the engineered material, we demonstrate that the capsid provides stability and protection to the hydrogenase cargo. These results illustrate how combining biological function with directed supramolecular self-assembly can be used to create new materials for sustainable catalysis.

  17. Self-assembling electroactive hydrogels for flexible display technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Scott L.; Hou Wong, Kok; Thordarson, Pall; Ladouceur, Franois

    2010-12-01

    We have assessed the potential of self-assembling hydrogels for use in conformal displays. The self-assembling process can be used to alter the transparency of the material to all visible light due to scattering by fibres. The reversible transition is shown to be of low energy by differential scanning calorimetry. For use in technology it is imperative that this transition is controlled electrically. We have thus synthesized novel self-assembling hydrogelator molecules which contain an electroactive group. The well-known redox couple of anthraquinone/anthrahydroquinone has been used as the hydrophobic component for a series of small molecule gelators. They are further functionalized with peptide combinations of L-phenylalanine and glycine to provide the hydrophilic group to complete 'head-tail' models of self-assembling gels. The gelation and electroactive characteristics of the series were assessed. Cyclic voltammetry shows the reversible redox cycle to be only superficially altered by functionalization. Additionally, spectroelectrochemical measurements show a reversible transparency and colour change induced by the redox process.

  18. Nano-imaging enabled via self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, Euan; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Imaging object details with length scales below approximately 200 nm has been historically difficult for conventional microscope objective lenses because of their inability to resolve features smaller than one-half the optical wavelength. Here we review some of the recent approaches to surpass this limit by harnessing self-assembly as a fabrication mechanism. Self-assembly can be used to form individual nano- and micro-lenses, as well as to form extended arrays of such lenses. These lenses have been shown to enable imaging with resolutions as small as 50 nm half-pitch using visible light, which is well below the Abbe diffraction limit. Furthermore, self-assembled nano-lenses can be used to boost contrast and signal levels from small nano-particles, enabling them to be detected relative to background noise. Finally, alternative nano-imaging applications of self-assembly are discussed, including three-dimensional imaging, enhanced coupling from light-emitting diodes, and the fabrication of contrast agents such as quantum dots and nanoparticles. PMID:25506387

  19. Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Capone, Barbara; Likos, Christos N.

    2016-02-01

    The fabrication of versatile building blocks that reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary materials science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when specific functionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number of f di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, under fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality make it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows the steering of the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology.

  20. Developmental Self-Assembly of a DNA Tetrahedron

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Kinetically controlled isothermal growth is fundamental to biological development, yet it remains challenging to rationally design molecular systems that self-assemble isothermally into complex geometries via prescribed assembly and disassembly pathways. By exploiting the programmable chemistry of base pairing, sophisticated spatial and temporal control have been demonstrated in DNA self-assembly, but largely as separate pursuits. By integrating temporal with spatial control, here we demonstrate the developmental self-assembly of a DNA tetrahedron, where a prescriptive molecular program orchestrates the kinetic pathways by which DNA molecules isothermally self-assemble into a well-defined three-dimensional wireframe geometry. In this reaction, nine DNA reactants initially coexist metastably, but upon catalysis by a DNA initiator molecule, navigate 24 individually characterizable intermediate states via prescribed assembly pathways, organized both in series and in parallel, to arrive at the tetrahedral final product. In contrast to previous work on dynamic DNA nanotechnology, this developmental program coordinates growth of ringed substructures into a three-dimensional wireframe superstructure, taking a step toward the goal of kinetically controlled isothermal growth of complex three-dimensional geometries. PMID:24720462

  1. Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Paul C; Patterson, Dustin P; Saboda, Kendall N; Edwards, Ethan J; Miettinen, Heini M; Basu, Gautam; Thielges, Megan C; Douglas, Trevor

    2016-02-01

    The chemistry of highly evolved protein-based compartments has inspired the design of new catalytically active materials that self-assemble from biological components. A frontier of this biodesign is the potential to contribute new catalytic systems for the production of sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen. Here, we show the encapsulation and protection of an active hydrogen-producing and oxygen-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase, sequestered within the capsid of the bacteriophage P22 through directed self-assembly. We co-opted Escherichia coli for biomolecular synthesis and assembly of this nanomaterial by expressing and maturing the EcHyd-1 hydrogenase prior to expression of the P22 coat protein, which subsequently self assembles. By probing the infrared spectroscopic signatures and catalytic activity of the engineered material, we demonstrate that the capsid provides stability and protection to the hydrogenase cargo. These results illustrate how combining biological function with directed supramolecular self-assembly can be used to create new materials for sustainable catalysis. PMID:26791902

  2. pH-directed self-assembling helical peptide conformation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The beta-sheet and alpha-helix peptide conformation are two of the most fundamentally ordered secondary structures found in proteins and peptides. They also give rise to self-assembling motifs that form macromolecular channels and nanostructures. Through design these conformations can yield enhance...

  3. Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties.

    PubMed

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Capone, Barbara; Likos, Christos N

    2016-02-14

    The fabrication of versatile building blocks that reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary materials science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when specific functionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number of f di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, under fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality make it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows the steering of the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology. PMID:26467391

  4. Amphiphilic self-assembly of alkanols in protic ionic liquids.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Haihui Joy; FitzGerald, Paul A; Dolan, Andrew; Atkin, Rob; Warr, Gregory G

    2014-08-21

    Strong cohesive forces in protic ionic liquids (PILs) can induce a liquid nanostructure consisting of segregated polar and apolar domains. Small-angle X-ray scattering has shown that these forces can also induce medium chain length n-alkanols to self-assemble into micelle- and microemulsion-like structures in ethylammonium (EA(+)) and propylammonium (PA(+)) PILs, in contrast to their immiscibility with both water and ethanolammonium (EtA(+)) PILs. These binary mixtures are structured on two distinct length scales: one associated with the self-assembled n-alkanol aggregates and the other with the underlying liquid nanostructure. This suggests that EA(+) and PA(+) enable n-alkanol aggregation by acting as cosurfactants, which EtA(+) cannot do because its terminating hydroxyl renders the cation nonamphiphilic. The primary determining factor for miscibility and self-assembly is the ratio of alkyl chain lengths of the alkanol and PIL cation, modulated by the anion type. These results show how ILs can support the self-assembly of nontraditional amphiphiles and enable the creation of new forms of soft matter. PMID:25068766

  5. Multistep hierarchical self-assembly of chiral nanopore arrays

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hanim; Lee, Sunhee; Shin, Tae Joo; Korblova, Eva; Walba, David M.; Clark, Noel A.; Lee, Sang Bok; Yoon, Dong Ki

    2014-01-01

    A series of simple hierarchical self-assembly steps achieve self-organization from the centimeter to the subnanometer-length scales in the form of square-centimeter arrays of linear nanopores, each one having a single chiral helical nanofilament of large internal surface area and interfacial interactions based on chiral crystalline molecular arrangements. PMID:25246585

  6. Developmental self-assembly of a DNA tetrahedron.

    PubMed

    Sadowski, John P; Calvert, Colby R; Zhang, David Yu; Pierce, Niles A; Yin, Peng

    2014-04-22

    Kinetically controlled isothermal growth is fundamental to biological development, yet it remains challenging to rationally design molecular systems that self-assemble isothermally into complex geometries via prescribed assembly and disassembly pathways. By exploiting the programmable chemistry of base pairing, sophisticated spatial and temporal control have been demonstrated in DNA self-assembly, but largely as separate pursuits. By integrating temporal with spatial control, here we demonstrate the "developmental" self-assembly of a DNA tetrahedron, where a prescriptive molecular program orchestrates the kinetic pathways by which DNA molecules isothermally self-assemble into a well-defined three-dimensional wireframe geometry. In this reaction, nine DNA reactants initially coexist metastably, but upon catalysis by a DNA initiator molecule, navigate 24 individually characterizable intermediate states via prescribed assembly pathways, organized both in series and in parallel, to arrive at the tetrahedral final product. In contrast to previous work on dynamic DNA nanotechnology, this developmental program coordinates growth of ringed substructures into a three-dimensional wireframe superstructure, taking a step toward the goal of kinetically controlled isothermal growth of complex three-dimensional geometries. PMID:24720462

  7. Self-assembly from milli- to nanoscales: methods and applications

    PubMed Central

    Mastrangeli, M; Abbasi, S; Varel, C; Van Hoof, C; Celis, J-P; Böhringer, K F

    2009-01-01

    The design and fabrication techniques for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanodevices are progressing rapidly. However, due to material and process flow incompatibilities in the fabrication of sensors, actuators and electronic circuitry, a final packaging step is often necessary to integrate all components of a heterogeneous microsystem on a common substrate. Robotic pick-and-place, although accurate and reliable at larger scales, is a serial process that downscales unfavorably due to stiction problems, fragility and sheer number of components. Self-assembly, on the other hand, is parallel and can be used for device sizes ranging from millimeters to nanometers. In this review, the state-of-the-art in methods and applications for self-assembly is reviewed. Methods for assembling three-dimensional (3D) MEMS structures out of two-dimensional (2D) ones are described. The use of capillary forces for folding 2D plates into 3D structures, as well as assembling parts onto a common substrate or aggregating parts to each other into 2D or 3D structures, is discussed. Shape matching and guided assembly by magnetic forces and electric fields are also reviewed. Finally, colloidal self-assembly and DNA-based self-assembly, mainly used at the nanoscale, are surveyed, and aspects of theoretical modeling of stochastic assembly processes are discussed. PMID:20209016

  8. Self-assembling multidomain peptide fibers with aromatic cores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Self-assembling multidomain peptides have been shown to have desirable properties, such as the ability to form hydrogels that rapidly recover following shear-thinning and the potential to be tailored by amino acid selection to vary their elasticity and encapsulate and deliver proteins and cells. Her...

  9. Self-Assembly of Globular Protein-Polymer Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, C. S.; Olsen, B. D.

    2011-03-01

    The self-assembly of globular protein-polymer diblock copolymers into nanostructured phases is demonstrated as an elegant and simple method for structural control in biocatalysis or bioelectronics. In order to fundamentally investigate self-assembly in these complex block copolymer systems, a red fluorescent protein was expressed in E. coli and site-specifically conjugated to a low polydispersity poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM) block using thiol-maleimide coupling to form a well-defined model globular protein-polymer diblock. Functional protein materials are obtained by solvent evaporation and solvent annealing above and below the lower critical solution temperature of PNIPAM in order to access different pathways toward self-assembly. Small angle x-ray scattering and microscopy are used to show that the diblock forms lamellar nanostructures and to explore dependence of nanostructure formation on processing conditions. Circular dichroism and UV-vis show that a large fraction of the protein remains in its folded state after conjugation, and wide angle x-ray scattering demonstrates that diblock copolymer self-assembly changes the protein packing symmetry.

  10. Microfluidic magnetic self-assembly at liquid-liquid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Jones, Steven G; Abbasi, Niki; Moon, Byeong-Ui; Tsai, Scott S H

    2016-03-14

    We present a microfluidic method that controllably self-assembles microparticles into clusters at an aqueous two-phase liquid-liquid interface. The liquid-liquid interface is formed between converging flows of aqueous dextran and polyethylene glycol, in a microfluidic cross-slot device. We control the size of the self-assembled particle clusters as they pass through the liquid-liquid interface, by systematically varying the applied magnetic field gradient, and the interfacial tension of the liquid-liquid interface. We find that upon penetration through the interface, the number of particles within a cluster increases with increasing interfacial tension, and decreasing magnetic field gradient. We also develop a scaling model of the number of particles within a cluster, and observe an inverse scaling of the number of particles within a cluster with the dimensionless magnetic Bond number. Upon cluster penetration across the liquid-liquid interface, we find magnetic Bond number regimes where the fluid coating drains away from the surface of the cluster, and where the clusters are encapsulated inside a thin film coating layer. This self-assembly technique may find application in controlling the size of microscale self-assemblies, and coating such assemblies; for example, in clustering and coating of cells for immunoisolated cell transplants. PMID:26854215

  11. Dynamic, conjugated microporous polymers: visible light harvesting via guest-responsive reversible swelling.

    PubMed

    Venkata Rao, K; Haldar, Ritesh; Maji, Tapas Kumar; George, Subi J

    2016-01-01

    The light-harvesting properties of two fluorescent dynamic conjugated microporous organic polymers (Py-PP and Py-BPP) rendered with pyrene chromophores are described. The hydrophobic and dynamic nature of these porous frameworks allows the selective capture of various organic solvents by instantaneous swelling at room temperature. Moreover, the dynamic nature of these frameworks indicates the swelling process with visible volume expansion and enhanced fluorescence. This was further explored for the rapid encapsulation of various fluorescent chromophoric guests at room temperature and investigated for photoinduced energy transfer process. The resultant host-guest antenna materials showed efficient light-harvesting and funnelling of excitation energy of host framework towards the entrapped guest molecule. This process further yielded solid-state luminescent materials with tunable emission. This work holds a great promise on the design of smart porous organic solids from ?-conjugated small molecules for optoelectronics, sensing and separation. PMID:26604127

  12. Synthesis and Functional Reconstitution of Light-Harvesting Complex II into Polymeric Membrane Architectures.

    PubMed

    Zapf, Thomas; Tan, Cherng-Wen Darren; Reinelt, Tobias; Huber, Christoph; Shaohua, Ding; Geifman-Shochat, Susana; Paulsen, Harald; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin

    2015-12-01

    One of most important processes in nature is the harvesting and dissipation of solar energy with the help of light-harvesting complex?II (LHCII). This protein, along with its associated pigments, is the main solar-energy collector in higher plants. We aimed to generate stable, highly controllable, and sustainable polymer-based membrane systems containing LHCII-pigment complexes ready for light harvesting. LHCII was produced by cell-free protein synthesis based on wheat-germ extract, and the successful integration of LHCII and its pigments into different membrane architectures was monitored. The unidirectionality of LHCII insertion was investigated by protease digestion assays. Fluorescence measurements indicated chlorophyll integration in the presence of LHCII in spherical as well as planar bilayer architectures. Surface plasmon enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS) was used to reveal energy transfer from chlorophyll?b to chlorophyll?a, which indicates native folding of the LHCII proteins. PMID:26473750

  13. ARCHITECTURE OF A CHARGE-TRANSFER STATE REGULATING LIGHT HARVESTING IN A PLANT ANTENNA PROTEIN

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Graham; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Avenson, Thomas J.; Ballottari, Matteo; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-04-02

    Energy-dependent quenching of excess absorbed light energy (qE) is a vital mechanism for regulating photosynthetic light harvesting in higher plants. All of the physiological characteristics of qE have been positively correlated with charge-transfer between coupled chlorophyll and zeaxanthin molecules in the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PSII). In this work, we present evidence for charge-transfer quenching in all three of the individual minor antenna complexes of PSII (CP29, CP26, and CP24), and we conclude that charge-transfer quenching in CP29 involves a de-localized state of an excitonically coupled chlorophyll dimer. We propose that reversible conformational changes in CP29 can `tune? the electronic coupling between the chlorophylls in this dimer, thereby modulating the energy of the chlorophylls-zeaxanthin charge-transfer state and switching on and off the charge-transfer quenching during qE.

  14. Nature-inspired light-harvesting liquid crystalline porphyrins for organic photovoltaics

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Lanfang; Kang, Shin-Woong; Harden, John; Sun, Qingjiang; Zhou, Xiaoli; Dai, Liming; Jakli, Antal; Kumar, Satyendra; Li, Quan

    2008-12-22

    A new class of nanoscale light-harvesting discotic liquid crystalline porphyrins, with the same basic structure of the best photoreceptor in nature (chlorophyll), was synthesized. These materials can be exceptionally aligned into a highly ordered architecture in which the columns formed by intermolecular {pi}-{pi} stacking are spontaneously perpendicular to the substrate. The homeotropic alignment, well confirmed by synchrotron X-ray diffraction, could not only provide the most efficient pathway for hole conduction along the columnar axis crossing the device thickness, but also offer the largest area to the incident light for optimized light harvesting. Their preliminary photocurrent generation and photovoltaic performances were also demonstrated. The results provide new and efficient pathways to the development of organic photovoltaics by using homeotropically aligned liquid crystal thin films.

  15. Hyperdiversity of Genes Encoding Integral Light-Harvesting Proteins in the Dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp

    PubMed Central

    Boldt, Lynda; Yellowlees, David; Leggat, William

    2012-01-01

    The superfamily of light-harvesting complex (LHC) proteins is comprised of proteins with diverse functions in light-harvesting and photoprotection. LHC proteins bind chlorophyll (Chl) and carotenoids and include a family of LHCs that bind Chl a and c. Dinophytes (dinoflagellates) are predominantly Chl c binding algal taxa, bind peridinin or fucoxanthin as the primary carotenoid, and can possess a number of LHC subfamilies. Here we report 11 LHC sequences for the chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC) subfamily isolated from Symbiodinium sp. C3, an ecologically important peridinin binding dinoflagellate taxa. Phylogenetic analysis of these proteins suggests the acpPC subfamily forms at least three clades within the Chl a/c binding LHC family; Clade 1 clusters with rhodophyte, cryptophyte and peridinin binding dinoflagellate sequences, Clade 2 with peridinin binding dinoflagellate sequences only and Clades 3 with heterokontophytes, fucoxanthin and peridinin binding dinoflagellate sequences. PMID:23112815

  16. A New Form of Chlorophyll c Involved in Light-Harvesting 1

    PubMed Central

    Fawley, Marvin W.

    1989-01-01

    A new form of chlorophyll c has been isolated from the pyrmnesiophyte Pavlova gyrans Butcher. This pigment is spectrally similar to chlorophyll c2, but all the absorption maxima (454, 583, and 630 nm in diethyl ether) are shifted 4 to 6 nanometers to longer wavelengths. The new pigment can be separated from other chlorophyll c-type pigments by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography and thin layer chromatography. Both chlorophylls c1 and c2 are found with the new chlorophyll c pigment in P. gyrans, and it has also been detected in the chrysophyte Synura petersenii Korsh. The light-harvesting function of the new chlorophyll c pigment is indicated by its presence along with chlorophyll c1 and c2 in a light-harvesting pigment-protein complex isolated from P. gyrans in which chlorophyll c pigments efficiently transfer absorbed light energy to chlorophyll a. PMID:16667093

  17. Quantum coherence enabled determination of the energy landscape in light-harvesting complex II.

    PubMed

    Calhoun, Tessa R; Ginsberg, Naomi S; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R

    2009-12-24

    The near-unity efficiency of energy transfer in photosynthesis makes photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes a promising avenue for developing new renewable energy technologies. Knowledge of the energy landscape of these complexes is essential in understanding their function, but its experimental determination has proven elusive. Here, the observation of quantum coherence using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy is employed to directly measure the 14 lowest electronic energy levels in light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the most abundant antenna complex in plants containing approximately 50% of the world's chlorophyll. We observe that the electronically excited states are relatively evenly distributed, highlighting an important design principle of photosynthetic complexes that explains the observed ultrafast intracomplex energy transfer in LHCII. PMID:20014871

  18. DNA-directed spatial assembly of photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Henry, Sarah L; Withers, Jamie M; Singh, Ishwar; Cooper, Jonathan M; Clark, Alasdair W; Burley, Glenn A; Cogdell, Richard J

    2016-01-28

    This manuscript describes the surface immobilization of a light-harvesting complex to prescribed locations directed by the sequence-selective recognition of duplex DNA. An engineered light-harvesting complex (RC-LH1) derived from Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris containing the zinc finger (ZF) domain zif268 was prepared. The zif268 domain directed the binding of zfRC-LH1 to target double-stranded DNA sequences both in solution and when immobilized on lithographically defined micro-patterns. Excitation energy transfer from the carotenoids to the bacteriochlorophyll pigments within zfRC-LH1 confirmed that the functional and structural integrity of the complex is retained after surface immobilization. PMID:26660647

  19. TectoRNA and 'kissing-loop' RNA: atomic force microscopy of self-assembling RNA structures.

    PubMed

    Hansma, H G; Oroudjev, E; Baudrey, S; Jaeger, L

    2003-12-01

    RNA molecules have been much less studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) than have DNA molecules. In this paper, AFM imaging is presented for two different RNA molecules able to self-assemble into complex supramolecular architectures. The first one is a molecular dimer of a 230-nt RNA fragment coming from the RNA genome of a murine leukaemia virus. The monomeric RNA fragment, which appears by AFM as an elongated structure with a mean aspect ratio of 1.4, assembles into a dimer of elongated structures through the formation of a 'kissing-loop' RNA interaction. The second one is a large supramolecular fibre formed of artificial self-assembling RNA molecular units called tectoRNA. The fibre lengths by AFM suggest that there are 50-70 tectoRNA units per fibre. Some methods and limitations are presented for measuring molecular volumes from AFM images. PMID:14629553

  20. Probabilistic Analysis of Pattern Formation in Monotonic Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Tyler G.; Garzon, Max H.; Deaton, Russell J.

    2015-01-01

    Inspired by biological systems, self-assembly aims to construct complex structures. It functions through piece-wise, local interactions among component parts and has the potential to produce novel materials and devices at the nanoscale. Algorithmic self-assembly models the product of self-assembly as the output of some computational process, and attempts to control the process of assembly algorithmically. Though providing fundamental insights, these computational models have yet to fully account for the randomness that is inherent in experimental realizations, which tend to be based on trial and error methods. In order to develop a method of analysis that addresses experimental parameters, such as error and yield, this work focuses on the capability of assembly systems to produce a pre-determined set of target patterns, either accurately or perhaps only approximately. Self-assembly systems that assemble patterns that are similar to the targets in a significant percentage are “strong” assemblers. In addition, assemblers should predominantly produce target patterns, with a small percentage of errors or junk. These definitions approximate notions of yield and purity in chemistry and manufacturing. By combining these definitions, a criterion for efficient assembly is developed that can be used to compare the ability of different assembly systems to produce a given target set. Efficiency is a composite measure of the accuracy and purity of an assembler. Typical examples in algorithmic assembly are assessed in the context of these metrics. In addition to validating the method, they also provide some insight that might be used to guide experimentation. Finally, some general results are established that, for efficient assembly, imply that every target pattern is guaranteed to be assembled with a minimum common positive probability, regardless of its size, and that a trichotomy exists to characterize the global behavior of typical efficient, monotonic self-assembly systems in the literature. PMID:26421616

  1. Light-harvesting antennae based on photoactive silicon nanocrystals functionalized with porphyrin chromophores.

    PubMed

    Fermi, Andrea; Locritani, Mirko; Di Carlo, Gabriele; Pizzotti, Maddalena; Caramori, Stefano; Yu, Yixuan; Korgel, Brian A; Bergamini, Giacomo; Ceroni, Paola

    2015-12-22

    Silicon nanocrystals functionalized with tetraphenylporphyrin Zn(ii) chromophores at the periphery perform as light harvesting antennae: excitation of the porphyrin units in the visible spectral region yields sensitized emission of the silicon nanocrystal core in the near infrared with a long lifetime (?max = 905 nm, ? = 130 ?s). This result demonstrates that this hybrid material has a potential application as a luminescent probe for bioimaging. PMID:26399301

  2. Single-molecule exploration of photoprotective mechanisms in light-harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hsiang-Yu; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Gwizdala, Michal; Krüger, Tjaart; Xu, Pengqi; Croce, Roberta; van Grondelle, Rienk; Moerner, W. E.

    2015-03-01

    Plants harvest sunlight by converting light energy to electron flow through the primary events in photosynthesis. One important question is how the light harvesting machinery adapts to fluctuating sunlight intensity. As a result of various regulatory processes, efficient light harvesting and photoprotection are balanced. Some of the biological steps in the photoprotective processes have been extensively studied and physiological regulatory factors have been identified. For example, the effect of lumen pH in changing carotenoid composition has been explored. However, the importance of photophysical dynamics in the initial light-harvesting steps and its relation to photoprotection remain poorly understood. Conformational and excited-state dynamics of multi-chromophore pigment-protein complexes are often difficult to study and limited information can be extracted from ensemble-averaged measurements. To address the problem, we use the Anti-Brownian ELectrokinetic (ABEL) trap to investigate the fluorescence from individual copies of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the primary antenna protein in higher plants, in a solution-phase environment. Perturbative surface immobilization or encapsulation schemes are avoided, and therefore the intrinsic dynamics and heterogeneity in the fluorescence of individual proteins are revealed. We perform simultaneous measurements of fluorescence intensity (brightness), excited-state lifetime, and emission spectrum of single trapped proteins. By analyzing the correlated changes between these observables, we identify forms of LHCII with different fluorescence intensities and excited-state lifetimes. The distinct forms may be associated with different energy dissipation mechanisms in the energy transfer chain. Changes of relative populations in response to pH and carotenoid composition are observed, which may extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

  3. A thioredoxin-like/?-propeller protein maintains the efficiency of light harvesting in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Matthew D.; Sylak-Glassman, Emily J.; Fleming, Graham R.; Niyogi, Krishna K.

    2013-01-01

    The light-harvesting complexes of plants have evolved the ability to switch between efficient light harvesting and quenching forms to optimize photosynthesis in response to the environment. Several distinct mechanisms, collectively termed nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ), provide flexibility in this response. Here we report the isolation and characterization of a mutant, suppressor of quenching 1 (soq1), that has high NPQ even in the absence of photosystem II subunit S (PsbS), a protein that is necessary for the rapidly reversible component of NPQ. The formation of NPQ in soq1 was light intensity-dependent, and it exhibited slow relaxation kinetics and other characteristics that distinguish it from known NPQ components. Treatment with chemical inhibitors or an uncoupler, as well as crosses to mutants known to affect other NPQ components, showed that the NPQ in soq1 does not require a transthylakoid pH gradient, zeaxanthin formation, or the phosphorylation of light-harvesting complexes, and it appears to be unrelated to the photosystem II damage-and-repair cycle. Measurements of pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence lifetimes indicated that the additional NPQ in soq1 is the result of a decrease in chlorophyll excited-state lifetime and not pigment bleaching. The SOQ1 gene was isolated by map-based cloning, and it encodes a previously uncharacterized thylakoid membrane protein with thioredoxin-like and ?-propeller domains located in the lumen and a haloacid-dehalogenase domain exposed to the chloroplast stroma. We propose that the role of SOQ1 is to prevent formation of a slowly reversible form of antenna quenching, thereby maintaining the efficiency of light harvesting. PMID:23818601

  4. Efficient energy transfer in light-harvesting systems, I: optimal temperature, reorganization energy and spatial-temporal correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianlan; Liu, Fan; Shen, Young; Cao, Jianshu; Silbey, Robert J.

    2010-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of efficient and robust energy transfer in light-harvesting systems provides new insights for the optimal design of artificial systems. In this paper, we use the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein complex and phycocyanin 645 (PC 645) to explore the general dependence on physical parameters that help maximize the efficiency and maintain its stability. With the Haken-Strobl model, the maximal energy transfer efficiency (ETE) is achieved under an intermediate optimal value of dephasing rate. To avoid the infinite temperature assumption in the Haken-Strobl model and the failure of the Redfield equation in predicting the Forster rate behavior, we use the generalized Bloch-Redfield (GBR) equation approach to correctly describe dissipative exciton dynamics, and we find that maximal ETE can be achieved under various physical conditions, including temperature, reorganization energy and spatial-temporal correlations in noise. We also identify regimes of reorganization energy where the ETE changes monotonically with temperature or spatial correlation and therefore cannot be optimized with respect to these two variables.

  5. Antheraxanthin, a light harvesting carotenoid found in a chromophyte alga. [Chrysophaera magna Becher, Phaeodactylum tricornutum

    SciTech Connect

    Alberte, R.S.; Andersen, R.A.

    1986-02-01

    The pigments of the chromophyte freshwater alga, Chrysophaera magna Belcher were analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to reveal the presence of chlorophylls a and c, ..beta..-carotene, fucoxanthin, and antheraxanthin. The presence of antheraxanthin was verified by comparison of TLC R/sub F/ values, HPLC retention times, and absorption features to those of authentic, synthetic antheraxanthin. Antheraxanthin accounted for about 15% of the total carotenoid content of C. magna. The molar ratio of the major carotenoids was antheraxanthin:fucoxanthin:..beta..-carotene, 1:2.3:3.3. The whole-cell absorption spectrum revealed a broad band between 470 and 520 nanometers which was attributed to fucoxanthin and antheraxanthin in vivo. Upon extraction in hydrocarbon, this broad absorption region was lost. The in vivo fluorescence excitation spectrum for 680 nm emission revealed the energy transfer activities and light harvesting roles of chlorophylls a and c, and fucoxanthin. In addition, an excitation band was resolved at 487 nanometers which could be attributed only to antheraxanthin. Comparison of whole-cell fluorescence excitation spectra of C. magna with the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, which possesses fucoxanthin but not antheraxanthin, supports the assignment of the 487 nm band to antheraxanthin. This is the first report of a photosynthetic light harvesting function of the xanthophyll, antheraxanthin. This carotenoid broadens the absorption cross-section for photosynthesis in C. magna and extends light harvesting into the green portion of the spectrum.

  6. Phycobilisome Mobility and Its Role in the Regulation of Light Harvesting in Red Algae1[W

    PubMed Central

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Lukeš, Martin; Papáček, Štěpán; Matonoha, Ctirad; Liu, Lu-Ning; Prášil, Ondřej; Mullineaux, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    Red algae represent an evolutionarily important group that gave rise to the whole red clade of photosynthetic organisms. They contain a unique combination of light-harvesting systems represented by a membrane-bound antenna and by phycobilisomes situated on thylakoid membrane surfaces. So far, very little has been revealed about the mobility of their phycobilisomes and the regulation of their light-harvesting system in general. Therefore, we carried out a detailed analysis of phycobilisome dynamics in several red alga strains and compared these results with the presence (or absence) of photoprotective mechanisms. Our data conclusively prove phycobilisome mobility in two model mesophilic red alga strains, Porphyridium cruentum and Rhodella violacea. In contrast, there was almost no phycobilisome mobility in the thermophilic red alga Cyanidium caldarium that was not caused by a decrease in lipid desaturation in this extremophile. Experimental data attributed this immobility to the strong phycobilisome-photosystem interaction that highly restricted phycobilisome movement. Variations in phycobilisome mobility reflect the different ways in which light-harvesting antennae can be regulated in mesophilic and thermophilic red algae. Fluorescence changes attributed in cyanobacteria to state transitions were observed only in mesophilic P. cruentum with mobile phycobilisomes, and they were absent in the extremophilic C. caldarium with immobile phycobilisomes. We suggest that state transitions have an important regulatory function in mesophilic red algae; however, in thermophilic red algae, this process is replaced by nonphotochemical quenching. PMID:24948833

  7. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I; Scholes, Gregory D; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy. PMID:26857477

  8. Directed assembly of hierarchical light-harvesting complexes using virus capsid scaffolds and DNA origami tiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Debin; Capehart, Stacy; Pal, Suchetan; Liu, Minghui; Lau, Jolene; Yan, Hao; Francis, Matthew; Deyoreo, Jim; LBNL Team; UCB Team; ASU Team

    2013-03-01

    Directed assembly of nanostructures with molecular precision is of great importance to develop an insightful understanding of assembly pathways and dynamics as well as to derive new functionalities. In this work, we explore the use of virus capsids and DNA origami tiles as 3D scaffolds and 2D templates for directed assembly of light-harvesting molecules and plasmonic gold nanoparticles to achieve tunable photoemission. Bacteriophage MS2 virus capsids with well-defined spherical macromolecular structures are genetically modified to provide predictable steric arrangements of light-harvesting molecules. DNA origami tiles act as programmable planar templates to provide higher-order organization of oligonucleotide-functionalized light-harvesting capsids and plasmonic gold nanoparticles. The direct observation of distance dependent photoluminescence emission is carried out by our correlative approach combining atomic force microscopy and confocal fluorescence microscopy, which is in good agreement with our numerical simulation and theoretical calculation. This work will facilitate the construction of multicomponent biological-metal hybrid plasmonic nanostructures for nanophotonics and biosensing applications.

  9. Quantum coherence spectroscopy reveals complex dynamics in bacterial light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2)

    PubMed Central

    Harel, Elad; Engel, Gregory S.

    2012-01-01

    Light-harvesting antenna complexes transfer energy from sunlight to photosynthetic reaction centers where charge separation drives cellular metabolism. The process through which pigments transfer excitation energy involves a complex choreography of coherent and incoherent processes mediated by the surrounding protein and solvent environment. The recent discovery of coherent dynamics in photosynthetic light-harvesting antennae has motivated many theoretical models exploring effects of interference in energy transfer phenomena. In this work, we provide experimental evidence of long-lived quantum coherence between the spectrally separated B800 and B850 rings of the light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) of purple bacteria. Spectrally resolved maps of the detuning, dephasing, and the amplitude of electronic coupling between excitons reveal that different relaxation pathways act in concert for optimal transfer efficiency. Furthermore, maps of the phase of the signal suggest that quantum mechanical interference between different energy transfer pathways may be important even at ambient temperature. Such interference at a product state has already been shown to enhance the quantum efficiency of transfer in theoretical models of closed loop systems such as LH2. PMID:22215585

  10. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy. PMID:26857477

  11. Functional quantum dot-protein nano bio-assembly for superior light harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutlugun, Evren; Ozgur Safak Seker, Urartu; Hernandez-Martinez, Pedro Ludwig; Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lesnyak, Vladimir; Gaponik, Nikolai; Eychmuller, Alexander; Demir, Hilmi Volkan

    2013-03-01

    The formation of functional bio-assemblies is crucial for the advanced biophotonic applications. In this work, we formed a nano bio-assembly, consisting of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and inorganic quantum dots (QDs), to employ as an excitonic biofunctional composite to use for light harvesting and biosensing applications. Using QDs as donor molecules with the acceptor GFP in the formed bio-assembly, we observed up-to 15-fold enhancement on the GFP emission, mediated by the strong nonradiative energy transfer. The lifetime modifications of the donor-acceptor pair were studied as a function of the number of proteins per quantum dot, and in good agreement with the proposed theoretical model based on the excitonic interaction among the species. Apart from the light harvesting system, a biosensing medium was also established, facilitated by the enzymatic activity destructing the light harvesting complex. The energy transferring QD-GFP complex was controllably modified by the addition of trypsin, by destroying the bond in between the QD-GFP complex, as verified by the observation of lifetime modifications. In summary, we developed functional excitonic nano-bio-assemblies, which we believe will open up new possibilities for advanced biophotonic applications. The author contributed equally to this work

  12. Two Cyanobacterial Photoreceptors Regulate Photosynthetic Light Harvesting by Sensing Teal, Green, Yellow, and Red Light

    PubMed Central

    Wiltbank, Lisa B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The genomes of many photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic bacteria encode numerous phytochrome superfamily photoreceptors whose functions and interactions are largely unknown. Cyanobacterial genomes encode particularly large numbers of phytochrome superfamily members called cyanobacteriochromes. These have diverse light color-sensing abilities, and their functions and interactions are just beginning to be understood. One of the best characterized of these functions is the regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna composition in the cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon by the cyanobacteriochrome RcaE in response to red and green light, a process known as chromatic acclimation. We have identified a new cyanobacteriochrome named DpxA that maximally senses teal (absorption maximum, 494 nm) and yellow (absorption maximum, 568 nm) light and represses the accumulation of a key light-harvesting protein called phycoerythrin, which is also regulated by RcaE during chromatic acclimation. Like RcaE, DpxA is a two-component system kinase, although these two photoreceptors can influence phycoerythrin expression through different signaling pathways. The peak responsiveness of DpxA to teal and yellow light provides highly refined color discrimination in the green spectral region, which provides important wavelengths for photosynthetic light harvesting in cyanobacteria. These results redefine chromatic acclimation in cyanobacteria and demonstrate that cyanobacteriochromes can coordinately impart sophisticated light color sensing across the visible spectrum to regulate important photosynthetic acclimation processes. PMID:26861023

  13. Light harvesting in photonic crystals revisited: why do slow photons at the blue edge enhance absorption?

    PubMed

    Deparis, O; Mouchet, S R; Su, B-L

    2015-11-11

    Light harvesting enhancement by slow photons in photonic crystal catalysts or dye-sensitized solar cells is a promising approach for increasing the efficiency of photoreactions. This structural effect is exploited in inverse opal TiO2 photocatalysts by tuning the red edge of the photonic band gap to the TiO2 electronic excitation band edge. In spite of many experimental demonstrations, the slow photon effect is not fully understood yet. In particular, observed enhancement by tuning the blue edge has remained unexplained. Based on rigorous couple wave analysis simulations, we quantify light harvesting enhancement in terms of absorption increase at a specific wavelength (monochromatic UV illumination) or photocurrent increase (solar light illumination), with respect to homogeneous flat slab of equivalent material thickness. We show that the commonly accepted explanation relying on light intensity confinement in high (low) dielectric constant regions at the red (blue) edge is challenged in the case of TiO2 inverse opals because of the sub-wavelength size of the material skeleton. The reason why slow photons at the blue edge are also able to enhance light harvesting is the loose confinement of the field, which leads to significant resonantly enhanced field intensity overlap with the skeleton in both red and blue edge tuning cases, yet with different intensity patterns. PMID:26517229

  14. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.

  15. Design principles of natural light-harvesting as revealed by single molecule spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, T. P. J.; van Grondelle, R.

    2016-01-01

    Biology offers a boundless source of adaptation, innovation, and inspiration. A wide range of photosynthetic organisms exist that are capable of harvesting solar light in an exceptionally efficient way, using abundant and low-cost materials. These natural light-harvesting complexes consist of proteins that strongly bind a high density of chromophores to capture solar photons and rapidly transfer the excitation energy to the photochemical reaction centre. The amount of harvested light is also delicately tuned to the level of solar radiation to maintain a constant energy throughput at the reaction centre and avoid the accumulation of the products of charge separation. In this Review, recent developments in the understanding of light-harvesting by plants will be discussed, based on results obtained from single molecule spectroscopy studies. Three design principles of the main light-harvesting antenna of plants will be highlighted: (a) fine, photoactive control over the intrinsic protein disorder to efficiently use intrinsically available thermal energy dissipation mechanisms; (b) the design of the protein microenvironment of a low-energy chromophore dimer to control the amount of shade absorption; (c) the design of the exciton manifold to ensure efficient funneling of the harvested light to the terminal emitter cluster.

  16. Design principles and fundamental trade-offs in biomimetic light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarovar, Mohan; Whaley, K. Birgitta

    2013-01-01

    Recent developments in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry have created opportunities to design organic systems with tailored nanoscale structure for various technological applications. A key application area is the capture of light energy and its conversion into electrochemical or chemical forms for photovoltaic or sensing applications. In this work we consider cylindrical assemblies of chromophores that model structures produced by several supramolecular techniques. Our study is especially guided by the versatile structures produced by virus-templated assembly. We use a multi-objective optimization framework to determine design principles and limitations in light harvesting performance for such assemblies, both in the presence and absence of disorder. We identify a fundamental trade-off in cylindrical assemblies that is encountered when attempting to maximize both efficiency of energy transfer and absorption bandwidth. We also rationalize the optimal design strategies and provide explanations for why various structures provide optimal performance. Most importantly, we find that the optimal design strategies depend on the amount of energetic and structural disorder in the system. The aim of these studies is to develop a program of quantum-informed rational design for construction of organic assemblies that have the same degree of tailored nanoscale structure as biological photosynthetic light harvesting complexes, and consequently have the potential to reproduce their remarkable light harvesting performance.

  17. Phycobilisome Mobility and Its Role in the Regulation of Light Harvesting in Red Algae.

    PubMed

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Lukeš, Martin; Papáček, Stěpán; Matonoha, Ctirad; Liu, Lu-Ning; Prášil, Ondřej; Mullineaux, Conrad W

    2014-06-19

    Red algae represent an evolutionarily important group that gave rise to the whole red clade of photosynthetic organisms. They contain a unique combination of light-harvesting systems represented by a membrane-bound antenna and by phycobilisomes situated on thylakoid membrane surfaces. So far, very little has been revealed about the mobility of their phycobilisomes and the regulation of their light-harvesting system in general. Therefore, we carried out a detailed analysis of phycobilisome dynamics in several red alga strains and compared these results with the presence (or absence) of photoprotective mechanisms. Our data conclusively prove phycobilisome mobility in two model mesophilic red alga strains, Porphyridium cruentum and Rhodella violacea. In contrast, there was almost no phycobilisome mobility in the thermophilic red alga Cyanidium caldarium that was not caused by a decrease in lipid desaturation in this extremophile. Experimental data attributed this immobility to the strong phycobilisome-photosystem interaction that highly restricted phycobilisome movement. Variations in phycobilisome mobility reflect the different ways in which light-harvesting antennae can be regulated in mesophilic and thermophilic red algae. Fluorescence changes attributed in cyanobacteria to state transitions were observed only in mesophilic P. cruentum with mobile phycobilisomes, and they were absent in the extremophilic C. caldarium with immobile phycobilisomes. We suggest that state transitions have an important regulatory function in mesophilic red algae; however, in thermophilic red algae, this process is replaced by nonphotochemical quenching. PMID:24948833

  18. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-09

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines themore » selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. In conclusion, we suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.« less

  19. The Self-Made Puzzle: Integrating Self-Assembly and Pattern Formation Under Non-Random Genetic Regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doursat, René

    On the one hand, research in self-assembling systems, whether natural or artificial, has traditionally focused on pre-existing components endowed with fixed shapes. Biological development, by contrast, dynamically creates new cells that acquire selective adhesion properties through differentiation induced by their neighborhood. On the other hand, pattern formation phenomena are generally construed as orderly states of activity on top of a continuous 2-D or 3-D substrate. Yet, again, the spontaneous patterning of an organism into domains of gene expression arises within a multicellular medium in perpetual expansion and reshaping. Finally, both phenomena are often thought in terms of stochastic events, whether mixed components that randomly collide in self-assembly, or spots and stripes that occur unpredictably from instabilities in pattern formation. Here too, these notions need significant revision if they are to be extended and applied to embryogenesis. Cells are not randomly mixed but pre-positioned where cell division occurs. Genetic identity domains are not randomly distributed but highly regulated in number and position. In this work, I present a computational model of program-mable and reproducible artificial morphogenesis that integrates self-assembly and pattern formation under the control of a nonrandom gene regulatory network. The specialized properties of cells (division, adhesion, migration) are determined by the gene expression domains to which they belong, while at the same time these domains further expand and segment into subdomains due to the self-assembly of specialized cells. Through this model, I also promote a new discipline, embryomorphic engineering to solve the paradox of "meta-designing" decentralized, autonomous systems.

  20. Synthesis of perylene-porphyrin building blocks and polymers thereof for the production of light-harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Loewe, Robert S.; Tomizaki, Kin-ya; Lindsey, Jonathan S.

    2005-07-12

    The present invention provides methods, compounds, and compositions for the synthesis of light harvesting arrays, such arrays comprising: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to said first electrode, each of said light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: wherein m is at least 1; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group, and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores. At least one of X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 has at least one perylene group coupled thereto.

  1. Defects in the Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers and Their Relevance for Directed Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Li, Weihua; Mller, Marcus

    2015-01-01

    Block copolymer self-assembly provides a platform for fabricating dense, ordered nanostructures by encoding information in the chemical architecture of multicomponent macromolecules. Depending on the volume fraction of the components and chain topology, these macromolecules form a variety of spatially periodic microphases in thermodynamic equilibrium. The kinetics of self-assembly, however, often results in initial morphologies with defects, and the subsequent ordering is protracted. Different strategies have been devised to direct the self-assembly of copolymer materials by external fields to align and perfect the self-assembled nanostructures. Understanding and controlling the thermodynamics of defects, their response to external fields, and their dynamics is important because applications in microelectronics either require extremely low defect densities or aim at generating specific defects at predetermined locations to fabricate irregular device-oriented structures for integrated circuits. In this review, we discuss defect morphologies of block copolymers in the bulk and thin films, highlighting (a) analogies to and differences from defects in other crystalline materials, (b) the stability of defects and their dynamics, and (c) the influence of external fields. PMID:25938921

  2. Hierarchical self-assembly: Self-organized nanostructures in a nematically ordered matrix of self-assembled polymeric chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mubeena, Shaikh; Chatterji, Apratim

    2015-03-01

    We report many different nanostructures which are formed when model nanoparticles of different sizes (diameter ?n) are allowed to aggregate in a background matrix of semiflexible self-assembled polymeric wormlike micellar chains. The different nanostructures are formed by the dynamical arrest of phase-separating mixtures of micellar monomers and nanoparticles. The different morphologies obtained are the result of an interplay of the available free volume, the elastic energy of deformation of polymers, the density (chemical potential) of the nanoparticles in the polymer matrix, and, of course, the ratio of the size of self-assembling nanoparticles and self-avoidance diameter of polymeric chains. We have used a hybrid semi-grand-canonical Monte Carlo simulation scheme to obtain the (nonequilibrium) phase diagram of the self-assembled nanostructures. We observe rodlike structures of nanoparticles which get self-assembled in the gaps between the nematically ordered chains, as well as percolating gel-like network of conjoined nanotubes. We also find a totally unexpected interlocked crystalline phase of nanoparticles and monomers, in which each crystal plane of nanoparticles is separated by planes of perfectly organized polymer chains. We identified the condition which leads to such interlocked crystal structure. We suggest experimental possibilities of how the results presented in this paper could be used to obtain different nanostructures in the laboratory.

  3. Self-assembly and mineralization of genetically modifiable biological nanofibers driven by beta-structure formation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hong; Cao, Binrui; George, Anne; Mao, Chuanbin

    2011-01-01

    Bio-inspired mineralization is an innovative approach to the fabrication of bone biomaterials mimicking the natural bone. Bone mineral hydroxylapatite (HAP) is preferentially oriented with c-axis parallel to collagen fibers in natural bone. However, such orientation control is not easy to achieve in artificial bone biomaterials. To overcome the lack of such orientation control, we fabricated a phage-HAP composite by genetically engineering M13 phage, a non-toxic bio-nanofiber, with two HAP-nucleating peptides derived from one of the non-collagenous proteins, Dentin Matrix Protein-1 (DMP1). The phage is a biological nanofiber that can be mass produced by infecting bacteria and is non-toxic to human beings. The resultant HAP-nucleating phages are able to self-assemble into bundles by forming ?-structure between the peptides displayed on their side walls. The ?-structure further promotes the oriented nucleation and growth of HAP crystals within the nanofibrous phage bundles with their c-axis preferentially parallel to the bundles. We proposed that the preferred orientation resulted from the stereochemical matching between the negatively charged amino acid residues within the ?-structure and the positively charged calcium ions on the (001) plane of HAP crystals. The self-assembly and mineralization driven by the ?-structure formation represent a new route for fabricating mineralized fibers that can serve as building blocks in forming bone repair biomaterials and mimic the basic structure of natural bones. PMID:21520924

  4. Nanometric self-assembling peptide layers maintain adult hepatocyte phenotype in sandwich cultures

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Isolated hepatocytes removed from their microenvironment soon lose their hepatospecific functions when cultured. Normally hepatocytes are commonly maintained under limited culture medium supply as well as scaffold thickness. Thus, the cells are forced into metabolic stress that degenerate liver specific functions. This study aims to improve hepatospecific activity by creating a platform based on classical collagen sandwich cultures. Results The modified sandwich cultures replace collagen with self-assembling peptide, RAD16-I, combined with functional peptide motifs such as the integrin-binding sequence RGD and the laminin receptor binding sequence YIG to create a cell-instructive scaffold. In this work, we show that a plasma-deposited coating can be used to obtain a peptide layer thickness in the nanometric range, which in combination with the incorporation of functional peptide motifs have a positive effect on the expression of adult hepatocyte markers including albumin, CYP3A2 and HNF4-alpha. Conclusions This study demonstrates the capacity of sandwich cultures with modified instructive self-assembling peptides to promote cell-matrix interaction and the importance of thinner scaffold layers to overcome mass transfer problems. We believe that this bioengineered platform improves the existing hepatocyte culture methods to be used for predictive toxicology and eventually for hepatic assist technologies and future artificial organs. PMID:21143997

  5. Tissue engineering by self-assembly and bio-printing of living cells

    PubMed Central

    Jakab, Karoly; Marga, Francoise; Norotte, Cyrille; Murphy, Keith; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Forgacs, Gabor

    2013-01-01

    Biofabrication of living structures with desired topology and functionality requires the interdisciplinary effort of practitioners of the physical, life, medical and engineering sciences. Such efforts are being undertaken in many laboratories around the world. Numerous approaches are being pursued, such as those based on the use of natural or artificial scaffolds, decellularized cadaveric extracellular matrices and lately bioprinting. To be successful in this endeavor it is crucial to provide in vitro micro-environmental clues for the cells resembling those in the organism. Therefore scaffolds populated with differentiated cells or stem cells of increasing complexity and sophistication are being fabricated. However, scaffolds, no matter how sophisticated they are, can cause problems stemming from their degradation, eliciting immunogenic reactions and other a priori unforeseen complications. It is also being realized that ultimately the best approach is to rely on the self-assembly and self-organizing properties of cells and tissues and the innate regenerative capability of the organism itself, not just simply prepare tissue and organ structures in vitro followed by their implantation. Here we briefly review the different strategies for the fabrication of three-dimensional biological structures, in particular bioprinting. We detail a fully biological, scaffoldless, print-based engineering approach that uses self-assembling multicellular units as bioink particles and employs early developmental morphogenetic principles, such as cell sorting and tissue fusion. PMID:20811127

  6. Smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Feng; Xie, Rui; Liu, Zhuang; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Wei; Lin, Shuo; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2015-10-01

    Smart gating membranes, inspired by the gating function of ion channels across cell membranes, are artificial membranes composed of non-responsive porous membrane substrates and responsive gates in the membrane pores that are able to dramatically regulate the trans-membrane transport of substances in response to environmental stimuli. Easy fabrication, high flux, significant response and strong mechanical strength are critical for the versatility of such smart gating membranes. Here we show a novel and simple strategy for one-step fabrication of smart gating membranes with three-dimensionally interconnected networks of functional gates, by self-assembling responsive nanogels on membrane pore surfaces in situ during a vapor-induced phase separation process for membrane formation. The smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates show large flux, significant response and excellent mechanical property simultaneously. Because of the easy fabrication method as well as the concurrent enhancement of flux, response and mechanical property, the proposed smart gating membranes will expand the scope of membrane applications, and provide ever better performances in their applications.

  7. Stimuli-Responsive Codelivery of Oligonucleotides and Drugs by Self-Assembled Peptide Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Sigg, Severin J; Postupalenko, Viktoriia; Duskey, Jason T; Palivan, Cornelia G; Meier, Wolfgang

    2016-03-14

    Ever more emerging combined treatments exploiting synergistic effects of drug combinations demand smart, responsive codelivery carriers to reveal their full potential. In this study, a multifunctional stimuli-responsive amphiphilic peptide was designed and synthesized to self-assemble into nanoparticles capable of co-bearing and -releasing hydrophobic drugs and antisense oligonucleotides for combined therapies. The rational design was based on a hydrophobic l-tryptophan-d-leucine repeating unit derived from a truncated sequence of gramicidin A (gT), to entrap hydrophobic cargo, which is combined with a hydrophilic moiety of histidines to provide electrostatic affinity to nucleotides. Stimuli-responsiveness was implemented by linking the hydrophobic and hydrophilic sequence through an artificial amino acid bearing a disulfide functional group (H3SSgT). Stimuli-responsive peptides self-assembled in spherical nanoparticles in sizes (100-200 nm) generally considered as preferable for drug delivery applications. Responsive peptide nanoparticles revealed notable nucleotide condensing abilities while maintaining the ability to load hydrophobic cargo. The disulfide cleavage site introduced in the peptide sequence induced responsiveness to physiological concentrations of reducing agent, serving to release the incorporated molecules. Furthermore, the peptide nanoparticles, singly loaded or coloaded with boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) and/or antisense oligonucleotides, were efficiently taken up by cells. Such amphiphilic peptides that led to noncytotoxic, reduction-responsive nanoparticles capable of codelivering hydrophobic and nucleic acid payloads simultaneously provide potential toward combined treatment strategies to exploit synergistic effects. PMID:26871486

  8. Smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Feng; Xie, Rui; Liu, Zhuang; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Wei; Lin, Shuo; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2015-01-01

    Smart gating membranes, inspired by the gating function of ion channels across cell membranes, are artificial membranes composed of non-responsive porous membrane substrates and responsive gates in the membrane pores that are able to dramatically regulate the trans-membrane transport of substances in response to environmental stimuli. Easy fabrication, high flux, significant response and strong mechanical strength are critical for the versatility of such smart gating membranes. Here we show a novel and simple strategy for one-step fabrication of smart gating membranes with three-dimensionally interconnected networks of functional gates, by self-assembling responsive nanogels on membrane pore surfaces in situ during a vapor-induced phase separation process for membrane formation. The smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates show large flux, significant response and excellent mechanical property simultaneously. Because of the easy fabrication method as well as the concurrent enhancement of flux, response and mechanical property, the proposed smart gating membranes will expand the scope of membrane applications, and provide ever better performances in their applications. PMID:26434387

  9. Branched peptide-amphiphiles as self-assembling coatings for tissue engineering scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Daniel A; Cheng, Earl Y; Guler, Mustafa O; Lee, Leslie K; Donovan, Jena L; Claussen, Randal C; Stupp, Samuel I

    2006-07-01

    An important challenge in regenerative medicine is the design of suitable bioactive scaffold materials that can act as artificial extracellular matrices. We reported previously on a family of peptide-amphiphile (PA) molecules that self-assemble into high-aspect ratio nanofibers under physiological conditions, and can display bioactive peptide epitopes along each nanofiber's periphery. One type of PA displays its epitope at a branched site using a lysine dendron, a molecular feature that improves epitope availability on the nanofiber surface. In this work, we describe the application of these branched PA (b-PA) systems as self-assembling coatings for fiber-bonded poly(glycolic acid) scaffolds. b-PAs bearing variations of the RGDS adhesion epitope from fibronectin were shown by elemental analysis to coat repeatably onto fiber scaffolds. The retention of supramolecular organization after coating on the scaffold was demonstrated through spectroscopic identification of beta-sheet structures and the close association of hydrophobic tails in a model pyrene-containing PA system. Primary human bladder smooth muscle cells demonstrated greater initial adhesion to b-PA-functionalized scaffolds than to bare scaffolds or to those coated with linear PAs. This strategy of molecular design and coating may have potential application in bladder tissue regeneration. PMID:16619254

  10. Bimolecular based heparin and self-assembling hydrogel for tissue engineering applications.

    PubMed

    Fernndez-Muios, Teresa; Recha-Sancho, Lourdes; Lpez-Chicn, Patricia; Castells-Sala, Cristina; Mata, Alvaro; Semino, Carlos E

    2015-04-01

    One major goal of tissue engineering is to develop new biomaterials that are similar structurally and functionally to the extracellular matrix (ECM) to mimic natural cell environments. Recently, different types of biomaterials have been developed for tissue engineering applications. Among them, self-assembling peptides are attractive candidates to create artificial cellular niches, because their nanoscale network and biomechanical properties are similar to those of the natural ECM. Here, we describe the development of a new biomaterial for tissue engineering composed by a simple combination of the self-assembling peptide RAD16-I and heparin sodium salt. As a consequence of the presence of heparin moieties the material acquired enhances the capacity of specific binding and release of growth factors (GFs) with heparin binding affinity such as VEGF165. Promising results were obtained in the vascular tissue engineering area, where the new composite material supported the development of tubular-like structures within a three dimensional (3D) culture model. Moreover, the new scaffold enhances the cell survival and chondrogenic commitment of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC). Interestingly, the expression of specific markers of mature cartilage tissue including collagen type II was confirmed by western blot and real-time PCR. Furthermore, positive staining for proteoglycans (PGs) indicated the synthesis of cartilage tissue ECM components. Finally, the constructs did not mineralize and exhibited mechanical properties of a tissue undergoing chondrogenesis. Altogether, these results suggest that the new composite is a promising "easy to prepare" material for different reparative and regenerative applications. PMID:25595471

  11. Growth, spectroscopy, and quantum optics of self-assembled quantum dot molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerardot, Brian D.

    Since their inception, semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have attracted much attention due to properties which are analogous with individual atoms. In addition to classical applications, novel applications have been identified which exploit the strong confinement of both electrons and holes in self-assembled QDs. This artificial atom analogy can be extended to artificial molecules by coupling two neighboring quantum dots. This single quantum system has been proposed for entangled photon pair emission and two bit or quantum bit gate operations. This thesis focuses on self-assembled InAs/GaAs QD molecules, which have good optical quality and tunable electronic and optical properties. One significant drawback of the spontaneous nature of self-assembly is random site nucleation. The lateral ordering of epitaxial semiconductor quantum dots is investigated using crystal growth techniques on pre-patterned substrates. Using localized surface chemical potential engineering, the ability to create ordered quantum dot lattices is demonstrated. However, this positioning technique is not precise enough to investigate coupling between neighboring QDs. Therefore, coupling between two vertically stacked QDs is explored. The strain field above the first QD induces a nucleation site for a second QD. The different nucleation conditions naturally yield different optical and electronic properties in the QD pair. By applying an electric field, carrier transfer between two QDs of different confining potentials is measured using micro-photoluminescence. The crystal growth kinetics in each QD were then carefully optimized to independently tune the two QDs ground state transitions to nearly identical energies. Optical spectroscopy of a QD molecule shows that excitons are strongly localized on each QD, therefore minimizing electronic tunneling. However, two types of electrostatic coupling are observed: Coulombic attraction and dipole-dipole interaction. Two-photon emission correlations from the rich spectra exhibit strong antibunching, unambiguously demonstrating the formation of an artificial molecule. Temperature dependent photoluminescence measurements show that directional energy transfer takes place from the high energy QD to the low energy QD. A simple rate-equation model is used to simulate the photon correlation experiment with qualitative agreement.

  12. Anion-dipole interactions make the homopolymers self-assemble into multiple nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Wang, Long-Hai; Zhang, Zi-Dan; Hong, Chun-Yan; He, Xue-Hao; You, Wei; You, Ye-Zi

    2015-05-27

    Anion-dipole interactions can make homopolymers self-assemble like an amphiphilic block copolymer. Generally, common homopolymers cannot self-assemble into multiple nanostructures. Here, it is reported that anion-dipole interactions can enable a number of homopolymers to achieve a variety of self-assembly behaviors in aqueous solution. Such interactions and self-assembly features have been exclusively reserved for amphiphilic (block) polymers until now. PMID:25873566

  13. Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO(2 )and ZnO.

    PubMed

    Mershin, Andreas; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Kaiser, Liselotte; Yu, Daoyong; Vaughn, Michael; Nazeeruddin, Md K; Bruce, Barry D; Graetzel, Michael; Zhang, Shuguang

    2012-01-01

    The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earth's energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the "Z-scheme" of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power. We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5 V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81 µW/cm(2) and photocurrent density of 362 µA/cm(2), over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date. PMID:22355747

  14. Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO2 and ZnO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mershin, Andreas; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Kaiser, Liselotte; Yu, Daoyong; Vaughn, Michael; Nazeeruddin, Md. K.; Bruce, Barry D.; Graetzel, Michael; Zhang, Shuguang

    2012-02-01

    The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earth's energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the ``Z-scheme'' of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power. We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5 V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81 W/cm2 and photocurrent density of 362 A/cm2, over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date.

  15. Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO2 and ZnO

    PubMed Central

    Mershin, Andreas; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Kaiser, Liselotte; Yu, Daoyong; Vaughn, Michael; Nazeeruddin, Md. K.; Bruce, Barry D.; Graetzel, Michael; Zhang, Shuguang

    2012-01-01

    The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earths energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the Z-scheme of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power. We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5?V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81?W/cm2 and photocurrent density of 362?A/cm2, over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date. PMID:22355747

  16. Orthogonal self-assembly in folding block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Hosono, Nobuhiko; Gillissen, Martijn A J; Li, Yuanchao; Sheiko, Sergei S; Palmans, Anja R A; Meijer, E W

    2013-01-01

    We herein report the synthesis and characterization of ABA triblock copolymers that contain two complementary association motifs and fold into single-chain polymeric nanoparticles (SCPNs) via orthogonal self-assembly. The copolymers were prepared using atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and possess different pendant functional groups in the A and B blocks (alcohols in the A block and acetylenes in the B block). After postfunctionalization, the A block contains o-nitrobenzyl-protected 2-ureidopyrimidinone (UPy) moieties and the B block benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (BTA) moieties. While the protected UPy groups dimerize after photoinduced deprotection of the o-nitrobenzyl group, the BTA moieties self-assemble into helical aggregates when temperature is reduced. In a two-step thermal/photoirradiation treatment under dilute conditions, the ABA block copolymer forms both BTA-based helical aggregates and UPy dimers intramolecularly. The sequential association of the two self-assembling motifs results in single-chain folding of the polymer, affording nanometer-sized particles with a compartmentalized interior. Variable-temperature NMR studies showed that the BTA and UPy self-assembly steps take place orthogonally (i.e., without mutual interference) in dilute solution. In addition, monitoring of the intramolecular self-assembly of BTA moieties into helical aggregates by circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that the stability of the aggregates is almost independent of UPy dimerization. Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and small-angle X-ray scattering analysis provided evidence of significant reductions in the hydrodynamic volume and radius of gyration, respectively, after photoinduced deprotection of the UPy groups; a 30-60% reduction in the size of the polymer chains was observed using SEC in CHCl(3). Molecular imaging by atomic force microscopy (AFM) corroborated significant contraction of individual polymer chains due to intramolecular association of the BTA and UPy groups. The stepwise folding process resulting from orthogonal self-assembly-induced supramolecular interactions yields compartmentalized SCPNs comprised of distinct microdomains that mimick two secondary-structuring elements in proteins. PMID:23181518

  17. Predicting supramolecular self-assembly on reconstructed metal surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roussel, Thomas J.; Barrena, Esther; Ocal, Carmen; Faraudo, Jordi

    2014-06-01

    The prediction of supramolecular self-assembly onto solid surfaces is still challenging in many situations of interest for nanoscience. In particular, no previous simulation approach has been capable to simulate large self-assembly patterns of organic molecules over reconstructed surfaces (which have periodicities over large distances) due to the large number of surface atoms and adsorbing molecules involved. Using a novel simulation technique, we report here large scale simulations of the self-assembly patterns of an organic molecule (DIP) over different reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. We show that on particular reconstructions, the molecule-molecule interactions are enhanced in a way that long-range order is promoted. Also, the presence of a distortion in a reconstructed surface pattern not only induces the presence of long-range order but also is able to drive the organization of DIP into two coexisting homochiral domains, in quantitative agreement with STM experiments. On the other hand, only short range order is obtained in other reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. The simulation strategy opens interesting perspectives to tune the supramolecular structure by simulation design and surface engineering if choosing the right molecular building blocks and stabilising the chosen reconstruction pattern.The prediction of supramolecular self-assembly onto solid surfaces is still challenging in many situations of interest for nanoscience. In particular, no previous simulation approach has been capable to simulate large self-assembly patterns of organic molecules over reconstructed surfaces (which have periodicities over large distances) due to the large number of surface atoms and adsorbing molecules involved. Using a novel simulation technique, we report here large scale simulations of the self-assembly patterns of an organic molecule (DIP) over different reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. We show that on particular reconstructions, the molecule-molecule interactions are enhanced in a way that long-range order is promoted. Also, the presence of a distortion in a reconstructed surface pattern not only induces the presence of long-range order but also is able to drive the organization of DIP into two coexisting homochiral domains, in quantitative agreement with STM experiments. On the other hand, only short range order is obtained in other reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. The simulation strategy opens interesting perspectives to tune the supramolecular structure by simulation design and surface engineering if choosing the right molecular building blocks and stabilising the chosen reconstruction pattern. GA image adapted from refs: (a) Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2001, 3, 3399-3404, with permission from the PCCP Owner Societies, and (b) J. Phys. Chem. C, 2008, 112 (18), 7168-7172, reprinted with permission from the American Chemical Society, copyright 2008.

  18. Physical properties of self-assembled monolayers of carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuilov, V. A.; Galibert, J.; Ksenevich, V.; Poklonski, N. A.; Forro, L.; Koo, J.; Yoon, K.; Rafailovich, M.; Sokolov, J.

    2006-03-01

    The controlled method of self-assembly of functionalized carbon nanotubes into 2-D layers with highly regular structure and unique electronic properties has been developed. We use the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique and newly developed inverted LB techniques. The alignment carbon nanotubes in the self-assembled 2-D layers was also introduced. The methods we propose, could be used for covering large surfaces with dense, molecularly ordered ultra-thin films of nanotubes of controlled thickness and orientation. The electrical, thermal conductivity and magneto-transport properties of the monolayers (arrays) of multi-wall and single-wall carbon nanotubes in the temperature range 1.8-300K and in magnetic fields up to 35 T have been tested.

  19. Stable doping of carbon nanotubes via molecular self assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, B.; Chen, Y.; Cook, A.; Zakhidov, A.; Podzorov, V.

    2014-10-01

    We report a novel method for stable doping of carbon nanotubes (CNT) based on methods of molecular self assembly. A conformal growth of a self-assembled monolayer of fluoroalkyl trichloro-silane (FTS) at CNT surfaces results in a strong increase of the sheet conductivity of CNT electrodes by 60-300%, depending on the CNT chirality and composition. The charge carrier mobility of undoped partially aligned CNT films was independently estimated in a field-effect transistor geometry (100 cm2V-1s-1). The hole density induced by the FTS monolayer in CNT sheets is estimated to be 1.8 1014 cm-2. We also show that FTS doping of CNT anodes greatly improves the performance of organic solar cells. This large and stable doping effect, easily achieved in large-area samples, makes this approach very attractive for applications of CNTs in transparent and flexible electronics.

  20. Self-assembled arrays of peptide nanotubes by vapour deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler-Abramovich, Lihi; Aronov, Daniel; Beker, Peter; Yevnin, Maya; Stempler, Shiri; Buzhansky, Ludmila; Rosenman, Gil; Gazit, Ehud

    2009-12-01

    The use of bionanostructures in real-world applications will require precise control over biomolecular self-assembly and the ability to scale up production of these materials. A significant challenge is to control the formation of large, homogeneous arrays of bionanostructures on macroscopic surfaces. Previously, bionanostructure formation has been based on the spontaneous growth of heterogenic populations in bulk solution. Here, we demonstrate the self-assembly of large arrays of aromatic peptide nanotubes using vapour deposition methods. This approach allows the length and density of the nanotubes to be fine-tuned by carefully controlling the supply of the building blocks from the gas phase. Furthermore, we show that the nanotube arrays can be used to develop high-surface-area electrodes for energy storage applications, highly hydrophobic self-cleaning surfaces and microfluidic chips.

  1. Computational Study of Supramolecular Self-Assembly Using CH/? Bonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, C.; Li, Q.; Horton, S.; Fuentes-Cabrera, M.; Sumpter, B.; Lu, W.; Bernholc, J.; Maksymovych, P.; Pan, M.

    2012-02-01

    Self assembly is an important research area in supramolecular engineering. We show that CH/? bonds can be exploited as a vehicle to assemble clusters of well-defined sizes on metal surfaces. Specifically, we theoretically explain the observations of largely uniform distribution of phenylacetylene magic clusters, each consisting of six molecules, on Au(111) surfaces. Using density functional theory with a van der Waals functional, we discuss the reasons for the preference of the hexamer structure, the key effect of CH/? bonding on the self-assembly, and the critical role of the metal surface. Our calculated STM images and electronic properties are in good agreement with experiment. The cooperative, multi-center CH/? interactions offer an attractive tunability via chemical functionalization, and thus may provide a new avenue towards rationally designing a desired supramolecular shape and size.

  2. Multidimensional hierarchical self-assembly of amphiphilic cylindrical block comicelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Huibin; Hudson, Zachary M.; Winnik, Mitchell A.; Manners, Ian

    2015-03-01

    Self-assembly of molecular and block copolymer amphiphiles represents a well-established route to micelles with a wide variety of shapes and gel-like phases. We demonstrate an analogous process, but on a longer length scale, in which amphiphilic P-H-P and H-P-H cylindrical triblock comicelles with hydrophobic (H) or polar (P) segments that are monodisperse in length are able to self-assemble side by side or end to end in nonsolvents for the central or terminal segments, respectively. This allows the formation of cylindrical supermicelles and one-dimensional (1D) or 3D superstructures that persist in both solution and the solid state. These assemblies possess multiple levels of structural hierarchy in combination with existence on a multimicrometer-length scale, features that are generally only found in natural materials.

  3. Self-Assembly of Graphene on Carbon Nanotube Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Li, Kaiyuan; Eres, Gyula; Howe, Jane; Chuang, Yen-Jun; Li, Xufan; Gu, Zhanjun; Zhang, Litong; Xie, Sishen; Pan, Zhengwei

    2013-01-01

    The rolling up of a graphene sheet into a tube is a standard visualization tool for illustrating carbon nanotube (CNT) formation. However, the actual processes of rolling up graphene sheets into CNTs in laboratory syntheses have never been demonstrated. Here we report conformal growth of graphene by carbon self-assembly on single-wall and multi-wall CNTs using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of methane without the presence of metal catalysts. The new graphene layers roll up into seamless coaxial cylinders encapsulating the existing CNTs, but their adhesion to the primary CNTs is weak due to the existence of lattice misorientation. Our study shows that graphene nucleation and growth by self-assembly of carbon on the inactive carbon basal plane of CNTs occurs by a new mechanism that is markedly different from epitaxial growth on metal surfaces, opening up the possibility of graphene growth on many other non-metal substrates by simple methane CVD. PMID:23912638

  4. Self Assembled Structures by Directional Solidification of Eutectics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dynys, Frederick W.; Sayir, Ali

    2004-01-01

    Interest in ordered porous structures has grown because of there unique properties such as photonic bandgaps, high backing packing density and high surface to volume ratio. Inspired by nature, biometric strategies using self assembled organic molecules dominate the development of hierarchical inorganic structures. Directional solidification of eutectics (DSE) also exhibit self assembly characteristics to form hierarchical metallic and inorganic structures. Crystallization of diphasic materials by DSE can produce two dimensional ordered structures consisting of rods or lamella. By selective removal of phases, DSE is capable to fabricate ordered pore arrays or ordered pin arrays. Criteria and limitations to fabricate hierarchical structures will be presented. Porous structures in silicon base alloys and ceramic systems will be reported.

  5. Chiral plasmonics of self-assembled nanorod dimers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Wei; Kuang, Hua; Wang, Libing; Xu, Liguang; Chang, Wei-Shun; Zhang, Huanan; Sun, Maozhong; Zhu, Yinyue; Zhao, Yuan; Liu, Liqiang; Xu, Chuanlai; Link, Stephan; Kotov, Nicholas A.

    2013-06-01

    Chiral nanoscale photonic systems typically follow either tetrahedral or helical geometries that require four or more different constituent nanoparticles. Smaller number of particles and different chiral geometries taking advantage of the self-organization capabilities of nanomaterials will advance understanding of chiral plasmonic effects, facilitate development of their theory, and stimulate practical applications of chiroplasmonics. Here we show that gold nanorods self-assemble into side-by-side orientated pairs and ``ladders'' in which chiral properties originate from the small dihedral angle between them. Spontaneous twisting of one nanorod versus the other one breaks the centrosymmetric nature of the parallel assemblies. Two possible enantiomeric conformations with positive and negative dihedral angles were obtained with different assembly triggers. The chiral nature of the angled nanorod pairs was confirmed by 4? full space simulations and the first example of single-particle CD spectroscopy. Self-assembled nanorod pairs and ``ladders'' enable the development of chiral metamaterials, (bio)sensors, and new catalytic processes.

  6. Prospects for using self-assembled nucleic acid structures.

    PubMed

    Rudchenko, M N; Zamyatnin, A A

    2015-04-01

    According to the central dogma in molecular biology, nucleic acids are assigned with key functions on storing and executing genetic information in any living cell. However, features of nucleic acids are not limited only with properties providing template-dependent biosynthetic processes. Studies of DNA and RNA unveiled unique features of these polymers able to make various self-assembled three-dimensional structures that, among other things, use the complementarity principle. Here, we review various self-assembled nucleic acid structures as well as application of DNA and RNA to develop nanomaterials, molecular automata, and nanodevices. It can be expected that in the near future results of these developments will allow designing novel next-generation diagnostic systems and medicinal drugs. PMID:25869355

  7. Self-assembly of double helical nanostructures inside carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Lv, Cheng; Xue, Qingzhong; Shan, Meixia; Jing, Nuannuan; Ling, Cuicui; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Jiao, Zhiyong; Xing, Wei; Yan, Zifeng

    2013-05-21

    We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to show that a DNA-like double helix of two poly(acetylene) (PA) chains can form inside single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The computational results indicate that SWNTs can activate and guide the self-assembly of polymer chains, allowing them to adopt a helical configuration in a SWNT through the combined action of the van der Waals potential well and the ?-? stacking interaction between the polymer and the inner surface of SWNTs. Meanwhile both the SWNT size and polymer chain stiffness determine the outcome of the nanostructure. Furthermore, we also found that water clusters encourage the self-assembly of PA helical structures in the tube. This molecular model may lead to a better understanding of the formation of a double helix biological molecule inside SWNTs. Alternatively, it could form the basis of a novel nanoscale material by utilizing the 'empty' spaces of SWNTs. PMID:23334090

  8. Using Markov State Models to Study Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkett, Matthew; Hagan, Michael

    2014-03-01

    In recent years, a number of algorithms have been developed to study rare events, which has resulted in paradigm shift from running a few long trajectories to gathering statistics from many shorter trajectories. Running many simulations in parallel to build a Markov State Model (MSM) is one such technique, which has been applied to protein folding with great success. We present an adaptation to the MSM framework that enables its application to a wide range of systems undergoing self-assembly. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated on two different coarse-grained models for virus self-assembly. We find good agreement between the MSM calculations and brute force long simulations, with up to several orders of magnitude reduction in simulation time.

  9. Directed self-assembly of gold nanoparticles into plasmonic chains.

    PubMed

    Xi, Chunxiao; Marina, Paula Facal; Xia, Haibing; Wang, Dayang

    2015-06-21

    The plasmonic behavior of metals at the nanoscale is not only appealing for fundamental studies, but also very useful for the development of innovative photonic devices. The past few decades have witnessed great progress in colloidal synthesis of monodisperse metal nanoparticles with defined shapes. This has significantly fueled up the research of directing the metal nanoparticles to self-assemble into tailored extended structures, especially low dimensional ones, for a better control and manipulation of the interactions of the metal nanoparticles with light. In parallel, theories for a better description of nanoplasmonics have been increasingly developed and improved. Thus, the present review is focused on the overview of current experimental and theoretical developments in the directed self-assembly of metal nanoparticles with tailored plasmonic properties, which, hopefully, will provide useful guidelines for future research studies and applications of nanoplasmonics. PMID:25994925

  10. Directed self-assembly of microscale hydrogels by electrostatic interaction.

    PubMed

    Han, Yu Long; Yang, Yanshen; Liu, Shaobao; Wu, Jinhui; Chen, Yongmei; Lu, Tian Jian; Xu, Feng

    2013-09-01

    The unique benefit of electrostatic self-assembly of microscale components in solution is demonstrated for the first time. In particular, positive and negative treatment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) facilitates a novel bottom-up assembly approach using electrostatic interaction from microgels with opposite charges. Fundamental investigations of electrostatic interaction of microgels reveal that the contact area of microgels determines the total energy of construct and thus the final patterns. The electrostatic self-assembly approach enables the fabrication of large and complex biological related structures (e.g., multi-layer spheroid) with accurate control. By the design of the microgels, the thickness and number of microgels in each layer can be controlled. Biological investigations of positive and negative treatments of PEG further prove the possibility of using this approach in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug delivery. PMID:23715009

  11. Self-assembly and semiconductivity of an oligothiophene supergelator

    PubMed Central

    Pratihar, Pampa; Ghosh, Suhrit; Stepanenko, Vladimir; Patwardhan, Sameer; Grozema, Ferdinand C; Siebbeles, Laurens D A

    2010-01-01

    Summary A bis(trialkoxybenzamide)-functionalized quaterthiophene derivative was synthesized and its self-assembly properties in solution were studied. In non-polar solvents such as cyclohexane, this quaterthiophene ?-system formed fibril aggregates with an H-type molecular arrangement due to synergistic effect of hydrogen bonding and ?-stacking. The self-assembled fibres were found to gelate numerous organic solvents of diverse polarity. The charge transport ability of such elongated fibres of quaterthiophene ?-system was explored by the pulse radiolysis time resolved microwave conductivity (PR-TRMC) technique and moderate mobility values were obtained. Furthermore, initial AFM and UV-vis spectroscopic studies of a mixture of our electron-rich quaterthiophene derivative with the electron acceptor [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) revealed a nanoscale segregated assembly of the individual building blocks in the blend. PMID:21160557

  12. Self-assembling functionalizable polydiacetylenes and their optical properties

    SciTech Connect

    Sukwattanasinitt, M.; Wang, X.; Lee, D.C.; Li, L.; Kumar, J.; Tripathy, S.K.; Sandman, D.J.

    1998-07-01

    The alkoxycarbonylmethylurethanes of 9-(N-methyl-N-phenylamino)-5,7-nonadiyn-1-ol were synthesized and polymerized by {sup 60}Co gamma radiation. The resulting polydiacetylenes (PDA) are soluble, processable, and self-assemble into an acentric array. These PDAs are susceptible to postpolymerization functionalization via its dialkylaniline and ester groups, and hence comprise the most versatile PDA system for systematic chemical modification reported to date. Dialkylaniline functionalization via tetracyanoethylene and diazonium salt coupling led, respectively, to materials with interesting second order nonlinear optical properties and that exhibit directly photofabricated regular surface relief gratings. The latter materials provide the first example of a rigid rod polymer (lacking a detectable glass transition) to exhibit such phenomena. Moreover, these PDAs can form self-assembled multilayer structure in water by ester hydrolysis.

  13. Environmental and Sensing Applications of Molecular Self-Assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Fryxell, Glen E.; Addleman, Raymond S.; Mattigod, Shas V.; Lin, Yuehe; Zemanian, Thomas S.; Wu, Hong; Birnbaum, Jerome C.; Liu, J.; Feng, X.

    2004-03-31

    In the last decade we have witnessed many exciting new discoveries in the ability to manipulate and measure matter at the nanometer scale. Honeycombed pores structures, spheres, icosahedra, nanotubes and nanorods, self-assembled structural hierarchies; the esthetics of the nanometer regime offers Nature’s elegance in its purest form. Understanding the driving forces behind these shapes and the self-assembly processes provides key understanding for this chemistry to be exploited for positive impact on our daily lives. For this to take place, we must not only understand how the nanoscopic structures impact the structural and chemical properties of these novel new materials, but we must also understand the critical problems that we face today and how these nanoscopic properties can be tailored to address these specific needs and critical problems.

  14. Self-assembly of triangular and hexagonal molecular necklaces.

    PubMed

    Li, Shijun; Huang, Jianying; Zhou, Fengyan; Cook, Timothy R; Yan, Xuzhou; Ye, Yang; Zhu, Bin; Zheng, Bo; Stang, Peter J

    2014-04-23

    The formation of catenated systems can be simplified greatly if one or more rings are generated via self-assembly. Herein we exploit the orthogonality of coordination-driven self-assembly and crown-ether host-guest complexation to obtain a [4]molecular necklace and a [7]molecular necklace based on a well-developed recognition motif of 1,2-bis(pyridinium)ethane/dibenzo[24]crown-8. By adapting the bis(pyridinium) motif into the backbone of a donor building block, the resulting semirigid dipyridyl species can serve both as a structural element in the formation of metallacycles and as a site for subsequent host-guest chemistry. The pseudolinear nature of the donor precursor lends itself to the formation of triangular and hexagonal central metallacycles based on the complementary acceptor unit used. This exemplary system organizes up to 18 molecules from three unique species in solution to afford a single supramolecular ensemble. PMID:24712517

  15. Electrostatically Directed Self-Assembly of Ultrathin Supramolecular Polymer Microcapsules

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Richard M; Zhang, Jing; Zheng, Yu; Coulston, Roger J; Smith, Clive A; Salmon, Andrew R; Yu, Ziyi; Scherman, Oren A; Abell, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Supramolecular self-assembly offers routes to challenging architectures on the molecular and macroscopic scale. Coupled with microfluidics it has been used to make microcapsules—where a 2D sheet is shaped in 3D, encapsulating the volume within. In this paper, a versatile methodology to direct the accumulation of capsule-forming components to the droplet interface using electrostatic interactions is described. In this approach, charged copolymers are selectively partitioned to the microdroplet interface by a complementary charged surfactant for subsequent supramolecular cross-linking via cucurbit[8]uril. This dynamic assembly process is employed to selectively form both hollow, ultrathin microcapsules and solid microparticles from a single solution. The ability to dictate the distribution of a mixture of charged copolymers within the microdroplet, as demonstrated by the single-step fabrication of distinct core–shell microcapsules, gives access to a new generation of innovative self-assembled constructs. PMID:26213532

  16. Electrostatic Control of Structure in Self-Assembled Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Bitton, Ronit; Chow, Lesley W.; Zha, R. Helen; Velichko, Yuri S.; Pashuck, E. Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembling peptide amphiphiles (PAs) can form hierarchically ordered membranes when brought in contact with aqueous polyelectrolytes of the opposite charge by rapidly creating a diffusion barrier composed of filamentous nanostructures parallel to the plane of the incipient membrane. Following this event, osmotic forces and charge complexation template nanofiber growth perpendicular to the plane of the membrane in a dynamic self-assembly process. In this work, we show that this hierarchical structure requires strong interactions between PA molecules and polyelectrolyte molecules, suggesting the importance of rapid diffusion barrier formation. Strong interactions are introduced here through the use of heparin-binding PAs with heparin and also with polyelectrolytes of varying charge density. Small angle x-ray scattering shows that in the case of weak PA-polyelectrolyte interaction, membranes formed display a cubic phase ordering on the nanoscale that likely results from clusters of PA nanostructures surrounded by polyelectrolyte chains. PMID:24022896

  17. Biomolecular decision-making process for self assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Osbourn, Gordon Cecil

    2005-01-01

    The brain is often identified with decision-making processes in the biological world. In fact, single cells, single macromolecules (proteins) and populations of molecules also make simple decisions. These decision processes are essential to survival and to the biological self-assembly and self-repair processes that we seek to emulate. How do these tiny systems make effective decisions? How do they make decisions in concert with a cooperative network of other molecules or cells? How can we emulate the decision-making behaviors of small-scale biological systems to program and self-assemble microsystems? This LDRD supported research to answer these questions. Our work included modeling and simulation of protein populations to help us understand, mimic, and categorize molecular decision-making mechanisms that nonequilibrium systems can exhibit. This work is an early step towards mimicking such nanoscale and microscale biomolecular decision-making processes in inorganic systems.

  18. Directed self-assembly of nanoparticles for nanomotors.

    PubMed

    Dong, Bin; Zhou, Tian; Zhang, Hui; Li, Christopher Y

    2013-06-25

    We report, for the first time, the design and fabrication of a nanoparticle-based nanomotor system by directly self-assembling nanoparticles onto functional, nanometer-thin lamellae, such as polymer single crystals. Tens of thousands of judiciously selected nanoparticles (gold, iron oxide, and platinum nanoparticles) with sizes ranging from <5 to a few tens of nanometers have been introduced into a single nanomotor via directed self-assembly. The resulting nanomotor realizes functions such as autonomous movement, remote control, and cargo transportation by utilizing the advantages offered by nanoparticles, such as the small size, surface plasmon resonance, catalytic and magnetic properties. Because of the structural and functional versatility of nanoparticles, the facile fabricating procedure, and the potential for mass production, our strategy shows a key step toward the development of next generation multifunctional nanomotors. PMID:23647410

  19. Stable doping of carbon nanotubes via molecular self assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, B.; Chen, Y.; Podzorov, V.; Cook, A.; Zakhidov, A.

    2014-10-14

    We report a novel method for stable doping of carbon nanotubes (CNT) based on methods of molecular self assembly. A conformal growth of a self-assembled monolayer of fluoroalkyl trichloro-silane (FTS) at CNT surfaces results in a strong increase of the sheet conductivity of CNT electrodes by 60–300%, depending on the CNT chirality and composition. The charge carrier mobility of undoped partially aligned CNT films was independently estimated in a field-effect transistor geometry (~100 cm²V⁻¹s⁻¹). The hole density induced by the FTS monolayer in CNT sheets is estimated to be ~1.8 ×10¹⁴cm⁻². We also show that FTS doping of CNT anodes greatly improves the performance of organic solar cells. This large and stable doping effect, easily achieved in large-area samples, makes this approach very attractive for applications of CNTs in transparent and flexible electronics.

  20. Propagating waves of self-assembly in organosilane monolayers

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Jack F.; Efimenko, Kirill; Fischer, Daniel A.; Phelan, Fredrick R.; Genzer, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Wavefronts associated with reactiondiffusion and self-assembly processes are ubiquitous in the natural world. For example, propagating fronts arise in crystallization and diverse other thermodynamic ordering processes, in polymerization fronts involved in cell movement and division, as well as in the competitive social interactions and population dynamics of animals at much larger scales. Although it is often claimed that self-sustaining or autocatalytic front propagation is well described by mean-field reactiondiffusion or phase field ordering models, it has recently become appreciated from simulations and theoretical arguments that fluctuation effects in lower spatial dimensions can lead to appreciable deviations from the classical mean-field theory (MFT) of this type of front propagation. The present work explores these fluctuation effects in a real physical system. In particular, we consider a high-resolution near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) study of the spontaneous frontal self-assembly of organosilane (OS) molecules into self-assembled monolayer (SAM) surface-energy gradients on oxidized silicon wafers. We find that these layers organize from the wafer edge as propagating wavefronts having well defined velocities. In accordance with two-dimensional simulations of this type of front propagation that take fluctuation effects into account, we find that the interfacial widths w(t) of these SAM self-assembly fronts exhibit a power-law broadening in time, w(t) ? t?, rather than the constant width predicted by MFT. Moreover, the observed exponent values accord rather well with previous simulation and theoretical estimates. These observations have significant implications for diverse types of ordering fronts that occur under confinement conditions in biological or materials-processing contexts. PMID:17566108

  1. Facile Self-Assembly of Quantum Plasmonic Circuit Components.

    PubMed

    Tran, Toan Trong; Fang, Jinghua; Zhang, Hao; Rath, Patrik; Bray, Kerem; Sandstrom, Russell G; Shimoni, Olga; Toth, Milos; Aharonovich, Igor

    2015-07-15

    A facile and cost-effective self-assembly route to engineering of vital quantum plasmonic circuit components is reported. By modifying the surface energy of silver nanowires, the position and density of attached nanodiamonds can be maneuvered leading to silver nanowire/nanodiamond(s) hybrid nanostructures. These structures exhibit strong plasmonic coupling effects and thus hold promise to serve as quantum plasmonic components. PMID:26036242

  2. Monodisperse Magnesium Hydride Nanoparticles Uniformly Self-Assembled on Graphene.

    PubMed

    Xia, Guanglin; Tan, Yingbin; Chen, Xiaowei; Sun, Dalin; Guo, Zaiping; Liu, Huakun; Ouyang, Liuzhang; Zhu, Min; Yu, Xuebin

    2015-10-01

    Monodisperse MgH2 nanoparticles with homogeneous distribution and a high loading percent are developed through hydrogenation-induced self-assembly under the structure-directing role of graphene. Graphene acts not only as a structural support, but also as a space barrier to prevent the growth of MgH2 nanoparticles and as a thermally conductive pathway, leading to outstanding performance. PMID:26315783

  3. Size-Dependent Melting of Self-Assembled Indium Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dippel, M.; Maier, A.; Gimple, V.; Wider, H.; Evenson, W. E.; Rasera, R. L.; Schatz, G.

    2001-08-01

    We have measured the melting temperature of nanoscale indium islands on a WSe2 substrate using perturbed angular correlations combined with scanning tunneling microscopy. The indium islands are self-assembled nanostructures whose diameter can vary between about 5 and 100 nm, depending on deposition conditions. The melting point decreases due to surface energies as the islands get smaller. This decrease depends on the faceting of the crystalline nanostructures and interactions between the islands and the substrate.

  4. Single-domain spectroscopy of self-assembled photonic crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlasov, Yu. A.; Deutsch, M.; Norris, D. J.

    2000-03-01

    We show how optical microscopy can be used to study the optical properties of a single crystalline domain in a self-assembled photonic crystal. By measuring spatially resolved reflection and emission spectra from a synthetic opal, inhomogeneities due to averaging over inherent disorder can be avoided. From "defect-free" reflection and emission spectra, the intrinsic photonic band structure can be extracted and inhibition of spontaneous emission can be verified.

  5. Dispersion of nanoparticulate suspensions using self-assembled surfactant aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Pankaj Kumar

    The dispersion of particles is critical for several industrial applications such as paints, inks, coatings, and cosmetics. Several emerging applications such as abrasives for precision polishing, and drug delivery systems are increasingly relying on nanoparticulates to achieve the desired performance. In the case of nanoparticles, the dispersion becomes more challenging because of the lack of fundamental understanding of dispersant adsorption and interparticle force prediction. Additionally, many of these processes use severe processing environments such as high normal forces (>100 mN/m), high shear forces (>10,000 s -1), and high ionic strengths (>0.1 M). Under such processing conditions, traditionally used dispersants based on electrostatics, and steric force repulsion mechanism may not be adequate. Hence, the development of optimally performing dispersants requires a fundamental understanding of the dispersion mechanism at the atomic/molecular scale. This study explores the use of self-assembled surfactant aggregates at the solid-liquid interface for dispersing nanoparticles in severe processing environments. Surfactant molecules can provide a feasible alternative to polymeric or inorganic dispersants for stabilizing ultrafine particles. The barrier to aggregation in the presence of surfactant molecules was measured using atomic force microscopy. The barrier heights correlated to suspension stability. To understand the mechanism for nanoparticulate suspension stability in the presence of surfactant films, the interface was characterized using zeta potential, contact angle, adsorption, and FT-IR (adsorbed surfactant film structure measurements). The effect of solution conditions such as pH and ionic strength on the suspension stability, and the self-assembled surfactant films was also investigated. It was determined that a transition from a random to an ordered orientation of the surfactant molecules at the interface was responsible for stability of nanoparticulates. Additionally, the role of the surface in surfactant self-assembly was investigated. Mechanical and thermodynamic properties of the self-assembled layer at the solid-liquid interface were calculated based on experimental results, and compared to the corresponding properties in the bulk solution.

  6. Magnetic alignment of collagen during self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Torbet, J; Ronzire, M C

    1984-05-01

    Magnetically induced birefringence is used to monitor the thermally induced self-assembly of collagen fibrils from a solution of molecules. The magnetic torque alone can, at best, only orient the fibrils into planes normal to the field direction. Nevertheless, the gels formed have a high degree of uniaxial alignment, probably due to the additional ordering effects of surface interactions. Thus magnetic orientation is potentially useful in the study of fibrillogenesis and in the production of highly oriented collagen gels. PMID:6743242

  7. Synthesis of self-assembled photosensitive molecules in mesoporous silicates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honma, Itaru; Zhou, H.-S.

    1997-02-01

    Self-assembled functional molecules in mesoporous materials are synthesized directly either by co-assembly of dye-bound surfactant of ferrocenyl TMA with silicate or Pc (phthalocyanine) molecules doped in the C16TMA micelles with oxides framework such as V2O5, MoO3, WO3 and SiO2. The process provides well-organized molecular doped mesoporous structure by direct and simple procedure.

  8. Cold Atoms and Molecules in Self-Assembled Dipolar Lattices

    SciTech Connect

    Pupillo, G.; Griessner, A.; Micheli, A.; Ortner, M.; Zoller, P.; Wang, D.-W.

    2008-02-08

    We study the realization of lattice models, where cold atoms and molecules move as extra particles in a dipolar crystal of trapped polar molecules. The crystal is a self-assembled floating mesoscopic lattice structure with quantum dynamics given by phonons. We show that within an experimentally accessible parameter regime extended Hubbard models with tunable long-range phonon-mediated interactions describe the effective dynamics of dressed particles.

  9. Recent progress on patchy colloids and their self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Yi, Gi-Ra; Pine, David J; Sacanna, Stefano

    2013-05-15

    'Patchy colloids' is a term that has been recently introduced to indicate specially engineered particles with directional interactions. Based on this concept, a 'bottom-up' process for fabricating functional materials and devices has been envisioned, which employs colloidal building blocks and mimics molecular bonding. This article reviews recent progress which has been made in the synthesis and self-assembly of patchy colloids and discusses future directions as well as unresolved challenges. PMID:23611897

  10. Large optical power limiting from self-assembly organic complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhi; Wu, Zhikun; Ma, Jinshi; Xia, Andong; Li, Quanshui; Liu, Chunling; Gong, Qihuang

    2005-02-01

    Optical properties of several synthesized complexes formed by self-assembly of pyrrol-2-yl-methyleneamines with zinc (II) ions are reported. Using a nanosecond optical parametric oscillator as the laser source, strong broadband optical power limiting performances based on two-photon absorption (TPA) have been observed in the visible region, where these materials exhibit large two-photon absorption (TPA) cross sections from 10-18to10-16cm4/GW in chloroform solution.

  11. Mechanical Self-Assembly of a Strain-Engineered Flexible Layer: Wrinkling, Rolling, and Twisting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zi; Huang, Gaoshan; Trase, Ian; Han, Xiaomin; Mei, Yongfeng

    2016-01-01

    Self-shaping of curved structures, especially those involving flexible thin layers, is attracting increasing attention because of their broad potential applications in, e.g., nanoelectromechanical andmicroelectromechanical systems, sensors, artificial skins, stretchable electronics, robotics, and drug delivery. Here, we provide an overview of recent experimental, theoretical, and computational studies on the mechanical self-assembly of strain-engineered thin layers, with an emphasis on systems in which the competition between bending and stretching energy gives rise to a variety of deformations, such as wrinkling, rolling, and twisting. We address the principle of mechanical instabilities, which is often manifested in wrinkling or multistability of strain-engineered thin layers. The principles of shape selection and transition in helical ribbons are also systematically examined. We hope that a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanical principles underlying these rich phenomena can foster the development of techniques for manufacturing functional three-dimensional structures on demand for a broad spectrum of engineering applications.

  12. Optical properties of a fabricated self-assembled bottom-up bulk metamaterial.

    PubMed

    Mhlig, S; Rockstuhl, C; Yannopapas, V; Brgi, T; Shalkevich, N; Lederer, F

    2011-05-01

    We investigate the optical properties of a true three-dimensional metamaterial that was fabricated using a self-assembly bottom-up technology. The metamaterial consists of closely packed spherical clusters being formed by a large number of non-touching gold nanoparticles. After presenting experimental results, we apply a generalized Mie theory to analyze its spectral response revealing that it is dominated by a magnetic dipole contribution. By using an effective medium theory we show that the fabricated metamaterial exhibits a dispersive effective permeability, i.e. artificial magnetism. Although this metamaterial is not yet left-handed it might serve as a starting point for achieving bulk metamaterials by using bottom-up approaches. PMID:21643219

  13. Capillary-based static self-assembly in higher organisms

    PubMed Central

    Voise, Jonathan; Schindler, Michael; Casas, Jérôme; Raphaël, Elie

    2011-01-01

    Organized structures produced by dynamic self-assembly are often observed in animal groups. Static self-assembly, however, has to date only been observed at the cellular and sub-cellular levels. The aim of this study was to analyse organized structures in immobile whirligig beetle groups on the water surface. We used theoretical and computational approaches to model the meniscus around whirligig beetles and to calculate the surface energy for configurations involving two beetles. Theoretical predictions were then tested using live insects and resin casts. Observations were also made for three and more casts. The meniscus of whirligig beetles had a bipolar shape with two concave parts. For two beetles, predicted configurations based on energy minima corresponded to beetles in contact by their extremities, forming lines and arrows, and agreed well with observations. Experimental results for three and more beetle casts revealed new geometrical arrangements similar to those obtained with colloids at interfaces. This study provides the first example of static self-assembly at the inter-organism level and shows the importance of capillary interactions in such formations. We identify the ecological context in which our findings are of relevance. PMID:21367777

  14. Self-assembled amyloid fibrils with controllable conformational heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Gyudo; Lee, Wonseok; Lee, Hyungbeen; Lee, Chang Young; Eom, Kilho; Kwon, Taeyun

    2015-11-01

    Amyloid fibrils are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases and exhibit a conformational diversity that governs their pathological functions. Despite recent findings concerning the pathological role of their conformational diversity, the way in which the heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils can be formed has remained elusive. Here, we show that microwave-assisted chemistry affects the self-assembly process of amyloid fibril formation, which results in their conformational heterogeneity. In particular, microwave-assisted chemistry allows for delicate control of the thermodynamics of the self-assembly process, which enabled us to tune the molecular structure of ?-lactoglobulin amyloid fibrils. The heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils, which can be tuned with microwave-assisted chemistry, are attributed to the microwave-driven thermal energy affecting the electrostatic interaction during the self-assembly process. Our study demonstrates how microwave-assisted chemistry can be used to gain insight into the origin of conformational heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils as well as the design principles showing how the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils can be controlled.

  15. Evolutionary dynamics in a simple model of self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Iain G.; Ahnert, Sebastian E.; Doye, Jonathan P. K.; Louis, Ard A.

    2011-06-01

    We investigate the evolutionary dynamics of an idealized model for the robust self-assembly of two-dimensional structures called polyominoes. The model includes rules that encode interactions between sets of square tiles that drive the self-assembly process. The relationship between the models rule set and its resulting self-assembled structure can be viewed as a genotype-phenotype map and incorporated into a genetic algorithm. The rule sets evolve under selection for specified target structures. The corresponding complex fitness landscape generates rich evolutionary dynamics as a function of parameters such as the population size, search space size, mutation rate, and method of recombination. Furthermore, these systems are simple enough that in some cases the associated model genome space can be completely characterized, shedding light on how the evolutionary dynamics depends on the detailed structure of the fitness landscape. Finally, we apply the model to study the emergence of the preference for dihedral over cyclic symmetry observed for homomeric protein tetramers.

  16. Intercalators as molecular chaperones in DNA self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Greschner, Andrea A; Bujold, Katherine E; Sleiman, Hanadi F

    2013-07-31

    DNA intercalation has found many diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Here, we propose the use of simple DNA intercalators, such as ethidium bromide, as tools to facilitate the error-free self-assembly of DNA nanostructures. We show that ethidium bromide can influence DNA self-assembly, decrease the formation of oligomeric side products, and cause libraries of multiple equilibrating structures to converge into a single product. Using a variety of 2D- and 3D-DNA systems, we demonstrate that intercalators present a powerful alternative for the adjustment of strand-end alignment, favor the formation of fully duplexed "closed" structures, and create an environment where the smallest, most stable structure is formed. A new 3D-DNA motif, the ninja star, was self-assembled in quantitative yield with this method. Moreover, ethidium bromide can be readily removed using isoamyl alcohol extractions combined with intercalator-specific spin columns, thereby yielding the desired ready-to-use DNA structure. PMID:23829631

  17. Molecular pathways for defect annihilation in directed self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Su-Mi; Thapar, Vikram; Ramírez-Hernández, Abelardo; Khaira, Gurdaman; Segal-Peretz, Tamar; Rincon-Delgadillo, Paulina A.; Li, Weihua; Müller, Marcus; Nealey, Paul F.; de Pablo, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    Over the last few years, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers by surface patterns has transitioned from academic curiosity to viable contender for commercial fabrication of next-generation nanocircuits by lithography. Recently, it has become apparent that kinetics, and not only thermodynamics, plays a key role for the ability of a polymeric material to self-assemble into a perfect, defect-free ordered state. Perfection, in this context, implies not more than one defect, with characteristic dimensions on the order of 5 nm, over a sample area as large as 100 cm2. In this work, we identify the key pathways and the corresponding free energy barriers for eliminating defects, and we demonstrate that an extraordinarily large thermodynamic driving force is not necessarily sufficient for their removal. By adopting a concerted computational and experimental approach, we explain the molecular origins of these barriers and how they depend on material characteristics, and we propose strategies designed to overcome them. The validity of our conclusions for industrially relevant patterning processes is established by relying on instruments and assembly lines that are only available at state-of-the-art fabrication facilities, and, through this confluence of fundamental and applied research, we are able to discern the evolution of morphology at the smallest relevant length scales—a handful of nanometers—and present a view of defect annihilation in directed self-assembly at an unprecedented level of detail. PMID:26515095

  18. Self-assembled amyloid fibrils with controllable conformational heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gyudo; Lee, Wonseok; Lee, Hyungbeen; Lee, Chang Young; Eom, Kilho; Kwon, Taeyun

    2015-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases and exhibit a conformational diversity that governs their pathological functions. Despite recent findings concerning the pathological role of their conformational diversity, the way in which the heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils can be formed has remained elusive. Here, we show that microwave-assisted chemistry affects the self-assembly process of amyloid fibril formation, which results in their conformational heterogeneity. In particular, microwave-assisted chemistry allows for delicate control of the thermodynamics of the self-assembly process, which enabled us to tune the molecular structure of ?-lactoglobulin amyloid fibrils. The heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils, which can be tuned with microwave-assisted chemistry, are attributed to the microwave-driven thermal energy affecting the electrostatic interaction during the self-assembly process. Our study demonstrates how microwave-assisted chemistry can be used to gain insight into the origin of conformational heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils as well as the design principles showing how the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils can be controlled. PMID:26592772

  19. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Tavakkoli K. G., Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M.; Gadelrab, Karim R.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A.; Berggren, Karl K.

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders. PMID:26796218

  20. Self-assembly of lipopolysaccharide layers on allantoin crystals.

    PubMed

    Vagenende, Vincent; Ching, Tim-Jang; Chua, Rui-Jing; Jiang, Qiu Zhen; Gagnon, Pete

    2014-08-01

    Self-assembly of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on solid surfaces is important for the study of bacterial membranes, but has not been possible due to technical difficulties and the lack of suitable solid supports. Recently we found that crystals of the natural compound allantoin selectively bind pure LPS with sub-nanomolar affinity. The physicochemical origins of this selectivity and the adsorption mode of LPS on allantoin crystals remain, however, unknown. In this study we present evidence that LPS adsorption on allantoin crystals is initiated through hydrogen-bond attachment of hydrophilic LPS regions. Hydrophobic interactions between alkyl chains of adjacently adsorbed LPS molecules subsequently promote self-assembly of LPS layers. The essential role of hydrogen-bond interactions is corroborated by our finding that allantoin crystals bind to practically any hydrophilic surface chemistry. Binding contributions of hydrophobic interactions between LPS alkyl chains are evidenced by the endothermic nature of the adsorption process and explain why the binding affinity for LPS is several orders of magnitude higher than for proteins (lysozyme, BSA and IgG) and polysaccharides. Self-assembly of LPS layers via hydrogen-bond attachment on allantoin crystals emerges as a novel binding mechanism and could be considered as a practical method for preparing biomimetic membranes on a solid support. PMID:24905674

  1. Equilibrium self-assembly of small RNA viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruinsma, R. F.; Comas-Garcia, M.; Garmann, R. F.; Grosberg, A. Y.

    2016-03-01

    We propose a description for the quasiequilibrium self-assembly of small, single-stranded (ss) RNA viruses whose capsid proteins (CPs) have flexible, positively charged, disordered tails that associate with the negatively charged RNA genome molecules. We describe the assembly of such viruses as the interplay between two coupled phase-transition-like events: the formation of the protein shell (the capsid) by CPs and the condensation of a large ss viral RNA molecule. Electrostatic repulsion between the CPs competes with attractive hydrophobic interactions and attractive interaction between neutralized RNA segments mediated by the tail groups. An assembly diagram is derived in terms of the strength of attractive interactions between CPs and between CPs and the RNA molecules. It is compared with the results of recent studies of viral assembly. We demonstrate that the conventional theory of self-assembly, which does describe the assembly of empty capsids, is in general not applicable to the self-assembly of RNA-encapsidating virions.

  2. The Evolution of Self-Assembled Domain Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellogg, Gary

    2002-03-01

    Real-time, real-space observations with the low energy electron microscope (LEEM) show that Cu and Pb arranged in single atomic layers on the Cu(111) surface self-assemble into ordered, nanoscale domain patterns [1]. The pattern type, feature size, and degree of long-range order vary controllably with surface composition and temperature. The continuous evolution of the domain structures from circular islands to stripes to ``inverted" islands with increasing Pb coverage agrees in surprising detail with theoretical predictions based on the existence of competing long- and short-range interactions [2-4]. Quantitative information concerning the elastic interactions that drive the self-assembly is obtained from analysis of island motion. The effects of small amounts of sulfur on Pb/Cu(111) self-assembly, and pattern formation in the mixed Sn-Pb/Cu(111) system will also be discussed. [1] R. Plass, J. A. Last, N. C. Bartelt, and G. L. Kellogg, Nature 412, 875 (2001). [2] H. M. McConnell, Annu. Re. Phys. Chem, 42, 171 (1991). [3] M. M. Hurley and S. J. Singer, Phys. Rev. B 46, 5783-5786 (1992). [4] K.-O. Ng and D. Vanderbilt, Phys. Rev. B 52, 2177-2183 (1995).

  3. Model-driven optimization of multicomponent self-assembly processes

    PubMed Central

    Korevaar, Peter A.; Grenier, Christophe; Markvoort, Albert J.; Schenning, Albertus P. H. J.; de Greef, Tom F. A.; Meijer, E. W.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we report an engineering approach toward multicomponent self-assembly processes by developing a methodology to circumvent spurious, metastable assemblies. The formation of metastable aggregates often hampers self-assembly of molecular building blocks into the desired nanostructures. Strategies are explored to master the pathway complexity and avoid off-pathway aggregates by optimizing the rate of assembly along the correct pathway. We study as a model system the coassembly of two monomers, the R- and S-chiral enantiomers of a ?-conjugated oligo(p-phenylene vinylene) derivative. Coassembly kinetics are analyzed by developing a kinetic model, which reveals the initial assembly of metastable structures buffering free monomers and thereby slows the formation of thermodynamically stable assemblies. These metastable assemblies exert greater influence on the thermodynamically favored self-assembly pathway if the ratio between both monomers approaches 1:1, in agreement with experimental results. Moreover, competition by metastable assemblies is highly temperature dependent and hampers the assembly of equilibrium nanostructures most effectively at intermediate temperatures. We demonstrate that the rate of the assembly process may be optimized by tuning the cooling rate. Finally, it is shown by simulation that increasing the driving force for assembly stepwise by changing the solvent composition may circumvent metastable pathways and thereby force the assembly process directly into the correct pathway. PMID:24101463

  4. Fractal intermediates in the self-assembly of silicatein filaments

    PubMed Central

    Murr, Meredith M.; Morse, Daniel E.

    2005-01-01

    Silicateins are proteins with catalytic, structure-directing activity that are responsible for silica biosynthesis in certain sponges; they are the constituents of macroscopic protein filaments that are found occluded within the silica needles made by Tethya aurantia. Self-assembly of the silicatein monomers and oligomers is shown to form fibrous structures by a mechanism that is fundamentally different from any previously described filament-assembly process. This assembly proceeds through the formation of diffusion-limited, fractally patterned aggregates on the path to filament formation. The driving force for this self-assembly is suggested to be entropic, mediated by the interaction of hydrophobic patches on the surfaces of the silicatein subunits that are not found on highly homologous congeners that do not form filaments. Our results are consistent with a model in which silicatein monomers associate into oligomers that are stabilized by intermolecular disulfide bonds. These oligomeric units assemble into a fractal network that subsequently condenses and organizes into a filamentous structure. These results represent a potentially general mechanism for protein fiber self-assembly. PMID:16091468

  5. Self-assembled polymer nanocomposites and their networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Nitin Vikas

    This dissertation describes new routes to synthesize polymer nanocomposite networks via self-assembly. Polymerizable structure directing agents (referred to as surfmers) obtained by end-group functionalization preserves the structure-directing capabilities of the surfactant for templating ordered mesoporous silica particle growth, while simultaneously generating a reactive matrix for polymer network formation through reactive end groups in the presence of intimately mixed mesoporous silicates. A combination of small angle X-ray scattering, surface area, and microscopy experiments on mesoporous silica indicated the structure directing capabilities of surfmers. Free-radical polymerization of the surfmer leads to novel crosslinked nanocomposites networks. Multiple experiments, including gel permeation chromatography, swelling, and solid state NMR experiments on polymer nanocomposites gave evidence of the polymerization of surfmer leading to formation of crosslink networks. Polymer nanocomposites with varied silica content were prepared. Effects of silica content on polymer nanocomposites were studied on rheometer. Results obtained from rheological experiments indicate that the storage (G') and loss modulus (G") increases with increase in the content of mesoporous silica. In this way, the nanocomposites networks obtained via self-assembly shows independent behavior with respect to frequency in rheological experiments. Additionally, this self-assembled route was extended to synthesize biodegradable and biocompatible polymer nanocomposites networks. The nanocomposite networks obtained with 15% of silica content showed the increase in storage modulus by two orders of magnitude in rheological experiments.

  6. Polymer adsorption-driven self-assembly of nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, A K; Golumbfskie, A J

    2001-01-01

    Driven by prospective applications, there is much interest in developing materials that can perform specific functions in response to external conditions. One way to design such materials is to create systems which, in response to external inputs, can self-assemble to form structures that are functionally useful. This review focuses on the principles that can be employed to design macromolecules that when presented with an appropriate two-dimensional surface, will self-assemble to form nanostructures that may be functionally useful. We discuss three specific examples: (a) biomimetic recognition between polymers and patterned surfaces. (b) control and manipulation of nanomechanical motion generated by biopolymer adsorption and binding, and (c) creation of patterned nanostructuctures by exposing molten diblock copolymers to patterned surfaces. The discussion serves to illustrate how polymer sequence can be manipulated to affect self-assembly characteristics near adsorbing surfaces. The focus of this review is on theoretical and computational work aimed toward elucidating the principles underlying the phenomena pertinent to the three topics noted above. However, synergistic experiments are also described in the appropriate context. PMID:11326074

  7. A precise packing sequence for self-assembled convex structures.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ting; Zhang, Zhenli; Glotzer, Sharon C

    2007-01-16

    Molecular simulations of the self-assembly of cone-shaped particles with specific, attractive interactions are performed. Upon cooling from random initial conditions, we find that the cones self-assemble into clusters and that clusters comprised of particular numbers of cones (e.g., 4-17, 20, 27, 32, and 42) have a unique and precisely packed structure that is robust over a range of cone angles. These precise clusters form a sequence of structures at specific cluster sizes (a "precise packing sequence") that for small sizes is identical to that observed in evaporation-driven assembly of colloidal spheres. We further show that this sequence is reproduced and extended in simulations of two simple models of spheres self-assembling from random initial conditions subject to convexity constraints, including an initial spherical convexity constraint for moderate- and large-sized clusters. This sequence contains six of the most common virus capsid structures obtained in vivo, including large chiral clusters and a cluster that may correspond to several non-icosahedral, spherical virus capsids obtained in vivo. Our findings suggest that this precise packing sequence results from free energy minimization subject to convexity constraints and is applicable to a broad range of assembly processes. PMID:17215354

  8. Self-assembled amyloid fibrils with controllable conformational heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Gyudo; Lee, Wonseok; Lee, Hyungbeen; Lee, Chang Young; Eom, Kilho; Kwon, Taeyun

    2015-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases and exhibit a conformational diversity that governs their pathological functions. Despite recent findings concerning the pathological role of their conformational diversity, the way in which the heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils can be formed has remained elusive. Here, we show that microwave-assisted chemistry affects the self-assembly process of amyloid fibril formation, which results in their conformational heterogeneity. In particular, microwave-assisted chemistry allows for delicate control of the thermodynamics of the self-assembly process, which enabled us to tune the molecular structure of β-lactoglobulin amyloid fibrils. The heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils, which can be tuned with microwave-assisted chemistry, are attributed to the microwave-driven thermal energy affecting the electrostatic interaction during the self-assembly process. Our study demonstrates how microwave-assisted chemistry can be used to gain insight into the origin of conformational heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils as well as the design principles showing how the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils can be controlled. PMID:26592772

  9. Self-assembly of strongly dipolar molecules on metal surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunkel, Donna A.; Hooper, James; Simpson, Scott; Miller, Daniel P.; Routaboul, Lucie; Braunstein, Pierre; Doudin, Bernard; Beniwal, Sumit; Dowben, Peter; Skomski, Ralph; Zurek, Eva; Enders, Axel

    2015-03-01

    The role of dipole-dipole interactions in the self-assembly of dipolar organic molecules on surfaces is investigated. As a model system, strongly dipolar model molecules, p-benzoquinonemonoimine zwitterions (ZI) of type C6H2(⋯ NHR)2(⋯ O)2 on crystalline coinage metal surfaces were investigated with scanning tunneling microscopy and first principles calculations. Depending on the substrate, the molecules assemble into small clusters, nano gratings, and stripes, as well as in two-dimensional islands. The alignment of the molecular dipoles in those assemblies only rarely assumes the lowest electrostatic energy configuration. Based on calculations of the electrostatic energy for various experimentally observed molecular arrangements and under consideration of computed dipole moments of adsorbed molecules, the electrostatic energy minimization is ruled out as the driving force in the self-assembly. The structures observed are mainly the result of a competition between chemical interactions and substrate effects. The substrate's role in the self-assembly is to (i) reduce and realign the molecular dipole through charge donation and back donation involving both the molecular HOMO and LUMO, (ii) dictate the epitaxial orientation of the adsorbates, specifically so on Cu(111), and (iii) inhibit attractive forces between neighboring chains in the system ZI/Cu(111), which results in regularly spaced molecular gratings.

  10. Supramolecular concepts in self-assembly of complex polymer systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mezzenga, Raffaele

    2007-03-01

    We discuss the complexation, the self-assembly behaviour and nanostructures obtained in comb-like liquid crystalline polymers formed by ionic complexation of cationic dendronized polymers and anionic lipids. The resulting self-assembled materials exhibit thermotropic liquid crystalline behaviour and a rich state diagram. The topology of the LC phases resulting from the self-assembly process, their lattice parameter and the distribution of polymer and lipid domains are discussed via birefringency analysis, small angle x-ray scattering, differential scanning calorimetry and transmission electron microscope. Depending on the generation of the dendronized polymer and the length of the alkyl chains, amorphous, lamellar, columnar hexagonal and a rarely observed columnar tetragonal phase can be obtained, where the long-range ordering of the structures is a function of the generation of the dendronized polymer considered and the lattice space is of the order of 3-6 nm. The selective staining of polymer/lipid domains allows establishing unambiguously the composition of each domain in the observed nanostructures and a structural model is proposed which accounts for the systematic variations of structure in terms of alkyl chain length as well as polymer generation. Furthermore, we discuss our recent efforts towards enhancing long-range order via external applied fields. Owing to the reversible nature of the ionic complexation this process proves high relevance for nanoporous channels, biomimetic, transport and nanotemplating applications. References: Canilho, N.; Kasemi, E.; Mezzenga, R.; Schluter, A.D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 13998 (2006).

  11. Molecular pathways for defect annihilation in directed self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Hur, Su-Mi; Thapar, Vikram; Ramírez-Hernández, Abelardo; Khaira, Gurdaman; Segal-Peretz, Tamar; Rincon-Delgadillo, Paulina A; Li, Weihua; Müller, Marcus; Nealey, Paul F; de Pablo, Juan J

    2015-11-17

    Over the last few years, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers by surface patterns has transitioned from academic curiosity to viable contender for commercial fabrication of next-generation nanocircuits by lithography. Recently, it has become apparent that kinetics, and not only thermodynamics, plays a key role for the ability of a polymeric material to self-assemble into a perfect, defect-free ordered state. Perfection, in this context, implies not more than one defect, with characteristic dimensions on the order of 5 nm, over a sample area as large as 100 cm(2). In this work, we identify the key pathways and the corresponding free energy barriers for eliminating defects, and we demonstrate that an extraordinarily large thermodynamic driving force is not necessarily sufficient for their removal. By adopting a concerted computational and experimental approach, we explain the molecular origins of these barriers and how they depend on material characteristics, and we propose strategies designed to overcome them. The validity of our conclusions for industrially relevant patterning processes is established by relying on instruments and assembly lines that are only available at state-of-the-art fabrication facilities, and, through this confluence of fundamental and applied research, we are able to discern the evolution of morphology at the smallest relevant length scales-a handful of nanometers-and present a view of defect annihilation in directed self-assembly at an unprecedented level of detail. PMID:26515095

  12. Self-assembly of metal phthalocyanines modulated by different substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Wende; Jiang, Yuhang; Lian, Jichun; Liu, Liwei; Cheng, Zhihai; Gao, Li; Du, Shixuan; Gao, Hongjun

    2011-03-01

    The self-assembly of organic molecules on solid surfaces has made tremendous progresses due to potential applications in organic nano-devices. Among the organic molecular building blocks, metal phthalocyanines (MPcs) have been attracting considerable interests because of their novel electronic and magnetic properties. The self-assembly and physical properties of MPcs on various surfaces have been investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS). In this presentation, we will report on the self-assembly of iron phthalocyanine (FePc), manganese phthalocyanine (MnPc) and nickel phthalocyanine (NiPc) on Pb(111) and monolayer graphene (MG) epitaxy on Ru (0001) by means of low temperature (LT) STM. Highly ordered close-packed islands with square lattice are observed for all three kinds of MPcs growth on Pb(111), whereas regular dislocation lines are formed in the molecular islands of FePc on Pb(111). We find that the Kondo resonance of MnPc on Pb(111) is strongly location-dependant. For FePc, MnPc and NiPc growth on MG, dispersive single molecules, dispersive molecular lines and small patches of Kagome lattice are observed, respectively.

  13. Self-assembly in sugar-oil complex glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dave, Hiteshkumar; Gao, Feng; Lee, Jing-Huei; Liberatore, Matthew; Ho, Chia-Chi; Co, Carlos C.

    2007-04-01

    In aqueous systems, the hydrophobic effect drives the self-assembly of amphiphiles into a broad range of micellar, rod-like, bicontinuous and liquid-crystalline complex fluids. Many of these are relevant to biological matter or technological applications. However, amphiphilic self-assembly is not limited to aqueous systems. Replacement of water with supercritical carbon dioxide, for example, results in complex fluids that combine the properties of gases and liquids. Along this vein, we explore the self-assembly of surfactants in anhydrous sugars. Our study reveals that anhydrous powders of sugars and surfactants suspended in oil spontaneously form molten glasses with nanometre-size domains of sugar and liquid oil without mixing. The low cost, water solubility, low toxicity and stabilizing properties of glassy sugars make them ideal water replacements for many pharmaceutical, food and materials synthesis applications. The optical clarity and solid appearance of these glasses at room temperature belie their inclusion of more than 50% (vol.) oil, which confers liquid-like diffusivity. The unique combination of solid- and liquid-like properties may lead to applications in sensors and optical devices.

  14. Molecular recognition directed self-assembly of supramolecular architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Percec, C.; Heck, J.; Johansson, G.; Tomazos, D.; Kawasumi, M.

    1994-06-01

    This paper reviews some of our research on three classes of supramolecular architectures which are generated via various combinations of molecular, macromolecular and supramolecular chemistry. The ability of these supramolecular architectures to form liquid crystalline phases is determined by the shape of the self-assembled architecture and will be used to visualize it via various characterization techniques. The molecular design of selected examples of structural units containing taper shaped exo-receptors and crown-ether, oligooxyethylenic, and H-bonding based endo-receptors which self-assemble into cylindrical channel-like architectures via principles resembling those of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), of macrocyclics which self-assemble into a willow-like architecture will be discussed. In the case of TMV-like supramolecular architectures a comparison between various supramolecular (generated via H-bonding, ionic and electrostatic interactions) and molecular 'polymer backbones' will be made. The present state of the art of the engineering of these supramolecular architectures and some possible novel material functions derived from them will be briefly mentioned.

  15. Molecular Motions in Functional Self-Assembled Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Dhotel, Alexandre; Chen, Ziguang; Delbreilh, Laurent; Youssef, Boulos; Saiter, Jean-Marc; Tan, Li

    2013-01-01

    The construction of “smart” materials able to perform specific functions at the molecular scale through the application of various stimuli is highly attractive but still challenging. The most recent applications indicate that the outstanding flexibility of self-assembled architectures can be employed as a powerful tool for the development of innovative molecular devices, functional surfaces and smart nanomaterials. Structural flexibility of these materials is known to be conferred by weak intermolecular forces involved in self-assembly strategies. However, some fundamental mechanisms responsible for conformational lability remain unexplored. Furthermore, the role played by stronger bonds, such as coordination, ionic and covalent bonding, is sometimes neglected while they can be employed readily to produce mechanically robust but also chemically reversible structures. In this review, recent applications of structural flexibility and molecular motions in self-assembled nanostructures are discussed. Special focus is given to advanced materials exhibiting significant performance changes after an external stimulus is applied, such as light exposure, pH variation, heat treatment or electromagnetic field. The crucial role played by strong intra- and weak intermolecular interactions on structural lability and responsiveness is highlighted. PMID:23348927

  16. Molecular pathways for defect annihilation in directed self-assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Hur, Su-Mi; Thapar, Vikram; Ramirez-Hernandez, Abelardo; Khaira, Gurdaman S.; Segal-Peretz, Tamar; Rincon-Delgadillo, Paulina A.; Li, Weihua; Muller, Marcus; Nealey, Paul F.; de Pablo, Juan J.

    2015-11-17

    Over the last few years, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers by surface patterns has transitioned from academic curiosity to viable contender for commercial fabrication of next-generation nanocircuits by lithography. Recently, it has become apparent that kinetics, and not only thermodynamics, plays a key role for the ability of a polymeric material to self-assemble into a perfect, defect-free ordered state. Perfection, in this context, implies not more than one defect, with characteristic dimensions on the order of 5 nm, over a sample area as large as 100 cm2. In this work, we identify the key pathways and the corresponding free-energy barriers for eliminating defects, and we demonstrate that an extraordinarily large thermodynamic driving force is not necessarily sufficient for their removal. By adopting a concerted computational and experimental approach, we explain the molecular origins of these barriers, how they depend on material characteristics, and we propose strategies designed to over-come them. The validity of our conclusions for industrially-relevant patterning processes is established by relying on instruments and assembly lines that are only available at state-of-the-art fabrication facilities and, through this confluence of fundamental and applied research, we are able to discern the evolution of morphology at the smallest relevant length scales - a handful of nanometers -, and present a view of defect annihilation in directed self-assembly at an unprecedented level of detail.

  17. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavakkoli K. G., Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M.; Gadelrab, Karim R.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A.; Berggren, Karl K.

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders.

  18. Algorithmic Self-Assembly of DNA Sierpinski Triangles

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    Algorithms and information, fundamental to technological and biological organization, are also an essential aspect of many elementary physical phenomena, such as molecular self-assembly. Here we report the molecular realization, using two-dimensional self-assembly of DNA tiles, of a cellular automaton whose update rule computes the binary function XOR and thus fabricates a fractal pattern—a Sierpinski triangle—as it grows. To achieve this, abstract tiles were translated into DNA tiles based on double-crossover motifs. Serving as input for the computation, long single-stranded DNA molecules were used to nucleate growth of tiles into algorithmic crystals. For both of two independent molecular realizations, atomic force microscopy revealed recognizable Sierpinski triangles containing 100–200 correct tiles. Error rates during assembly appear to range from 1% to 10%. Although imperfect, the growth of Sierpinski triangles demonstrates all the necessary mechanisms for the molecular implementation of arbitrary cellular automata. This shows that engineered DNA self-assembly can be treated as a Turing-universal biomolecular system, capable of implementing any desired algorithm for computation or construction tasks. PMID:15583715

  19. Three dimensional self-assembly at the nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gracias, D. H.

    2013-05-01

    At the nanoscale, three dimensional manipulation and assembly becomes extremely challenging and also cost prohibitive. Self-assembly provides an attractive and possibly the only highly parallel methodology to structure truly three dimensional patterned materials and devices at this size scale for applications in electronics, optics, robotics and medicine. This is a concise review along with a perspective of an important and exciting field in nanotechnology and is related to a Nanoengineering Pioneer Award that I received at this SPIE symposium for my contributions to the 3D selfassembly of nanostructures. I detail a historical account of 3D self-assembly and outline important developments in this area which is put into context with the larger research areas of 3D nanofabrication, assembly and nanomanufacturing. A focus in this review is on our work as it relates to the self-assembly with lithographically patterned units; this approach provides a means for heterogeneous integration of periodic, curved and angled nanostructures with precisely defined three dimensional patterns.

  20. Self-assembly of strongly dipolar molecules on metal surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kunkel, Donna A; Hooper, James; Simpson, Scott; Miller, Daniel P; Routaboul, Lucie; Braunstein, Pierre; Doudin, Bernard; Beniwal, Sumit; Dowben, Peter; Skomski, Ralph; Zurek, Eva; Enders, Axel

    2015-03-14

    The role of dipole-dipole interactions in the self-assembly of dipolar organic molecules on surfaces is investigated. As a model system, strongly dipolar model molecules, p-benzoquinonemonoimine zwitterions (ZI) of type C6H2(??NHR)2(??O)2 on crystalline coinage metal surfaces were investigated with scanning tunneling microscopy and first principles calculations. Depending on the substrate, the molecules assemble into small clusters, nano gratings, and stripes, as well as in two-dimensional islands. The alignment of the molecular dipoles in those assemblies only rarely assumes the lowest electrostatic energy configuration. Based on calculations of the electrostatic energy for various experimentally observed molecular arrangements and under consideration of computed dipole moments of adsorbed molecules, the electrostatic energy minimization is ruled out as the driving force in the self-assembly. The structures observed are mainly the result of a competition between chemical interactions and substrate effects. The substrate's role in the self-assembly is to (i) reduce and realign the molecular dipole through charge donation and back donation involving both the molecular HOMO and LUMO, (ii) dictate the epitaxial orientation of the adsorbates, specifically so on Cu(111), and (iii) inhibit attractive forces between neighboring chains in the system ZI/Cu(111), which results in regularly spaced molecular gratings. PMID:25770510

  1. Intramolecular energy transfer with butadiyne-linked chlorophyll and porphyrin dimer-faced, self-assembled prisms.

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, R. F.; Lee, S. J.; Wilson, T. M.; Nakamura, Y.; Tiede, D. M.; Osuka, A.; Hupp, J. T.; Wasielewski, M. R.; SUF-USR; Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division; Northwestern Univ.; Kyoto Univ.

    2008-01-01

    The synthesis and photophysical properties of butadiyne-linked chlorophyll and porphyrin dimers in toluene solution and in several self-assembled prismatic structures are described. The butadiyne linkage between the 20-positions of the macrocycles results in new electronic transitions polarized along the long axes of the dimers. These transitions greatly increase the ability of these dimers to absorb the solar spectrum over a broad wavelength range. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy reveals the relative rate of rotation of the macrocycles around the butadiyne bond joining them. Following addition of 3-fold symmetric, metal-coordinating ligands, both macrocyclic dimers self-assemble into prismatic structures in which the dimers comprise the faces of the prisms. These structures were confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering experiments in solution using a synchrotron source. Photoexcitation of the prismatic assemblies reveals that efficient, through-space energy transfer occurs between the macrocyclic dimers within the prisms. The distance dependence of energy transfer between the faces of the prisms was observed by varying the size of the prismatic assemblies through the use of 3-fold symmetric ligands having arms with different lengths. These results show that self-assembly of discrete macrocyclic prisms provides a useful new strategy for controlling singlet exciton flow in antenna systems for artificial photosynthesis and solar cell applications.

  2. Reinforcement of Shear Thinning Protein Hydrogels by Responsive Block Copolymer Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Glassman, Matthew J.; Chan, Jacqueline

    2014-01-01

    Shear thinning hydrogels are promising materials that exhibit rapid self-healing following the cessation of shear, making them attractive for a variety of applications including injectable biomaterials. In this work, self-assembly is demonstrated as a strategy to introduce a reinforcing network within shear thinning artificially engineered protein gels, enabling a responsive transition from an injectable state at low temperatures with a low yield stress to a stiffened state at physiological temperatures with resistance to shear thinning, higher toughness, and reduced erosion rates and creep compliance. Protein-polymer triblock copolymers capable of the responsive self-assembly of two orthogonal networks have been synthesized by conjugating poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) to the N- and C- termini of a protein midblock decorated with coiled-coil self-associating domains. Midblock association forms a shear-thinning network, while endblock aggregation at elevated temperatures introduces a second, independent physical network into the protein hydrogel. These new, reversible crosslinks introduce extremely long relaxation times and lead to a five-fold increase in the elastic modulus, significantly larger than is expected from transient network theory. Thermoresponsive reinforcement reduces the high temperature creep compliance by over four orders of magnitude, decreases the erosion rate by at least a factor of five, and increases the yield stress by up to a factor of seven. The reinforced hydrogels also exhibit enhanced resistance to plastic deformation and failure in uniaxial compression. Combined with the demonstrated potential of shear thinning artificial protein hydrogels for various uses, including the minimally-invasive implantation of bioactive scaffolds, this reinforcement mechanism broadens the range of applications that can be addressed with shear-thinning physical gels. PMID:25568642

  3. In Vitro Reconstitution of Light-harvesting Complexes of Plants and Green Algae

    PubMed Central

    Natali, Alberto; Roy, Laura M.; Croce, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    In plants and green algae, light is captured by the light-harvesting complexes (LHCs), a family of integral membrane proteins that coordinate chlorophylls and carotenoids. In vivo, these proteins are folded with pigments to form complexes which are inserted in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast. The high similarity in the chemical and physical properties of the members of the family, together with the fact that they can easily lose pigments during isolation, makes their purification in a native state challenging. An alternative approach to obtain homogeneous preparations of LHCs was developed by Plumley and Schmidt in 19871, who showed that it was possible to reconstitute these complexes in vitro starting from purified pigments and unfolded apoproteins, resulting in complexes with properties very similar to that of native complexes. This opened the way to the use of bacterial expressed recombinant proteins for in vitro reconstitution. The reconstitution method is powerful for various reasons: (1) pure preparations of individual complexes can be obtained, (2) pigment composition can be controlled to assess their contribution to structure and function, (3) recombinant proteins can be mutated to study the functional role of the individual residues (e.g., pigment binding sites) or protein domain (e.g., protein-protein interaction, folding). This method has been optimized in several laboratories and applied to most of the light-harvesting complexes. The protocol described here details the method of reconstituting light-harvesting complexes in vitro currently used in our laboratory,and examples describing applications of the method are provided. PMID:25350712

  4. Self-assembled nanomaterials based on beta (β (3)) tetrapeptides.

    PubMed

    Seoudi, Rania S; Hinds, Mark G; Wilson, David J D; Adda, Christopher G; Del Borgo, Mark; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel; Perlmutter, Patrick; Mechler, Adam

    2016-04-01

    β (3)-amino acid based polypeptides offer a unique starting material for the design of self-assembled nanostructures such as fibres and hierarchical dendritic assemblies, due to their well-defined helical geometry in which the peptide side chains align at 120° due to the 3.0-3.1 residue pitch of the helix. In a previous work we have described the head-to-tail self-assembly of N-terminal acetylated β (3)-peptides into infinite helical nanorods that was achieved by designing a bioinspired supramolecular self-assembly motif. Here we describe the effect of consecutively more polar side chains on the self-assembly characteristics of β (3)-tetrapeptides Ac-β (3)Ala-β (3)Leu-β (3)Ile-β (3)Ala (Ac-β(3)[ALIA]), Ac-β (3)Ser-β (3)Leu-β (3)Ile-β (3)Ala (Ac-β(3)[SLIA]) and Ac-β (3)Lys-β (3)Leu-β (3)Ile-β (3)Glu (Ac-β(3)[KLIE]). β (3)-tetrapeptides complete 1 1/3 turns of the helix: thus in the oligomeric form the side chain positions shift 120° with each added monomer, forming a regular periodic pattern along the nanorod. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements confirmed that these peptides self-assemble even in highly polar solvents such as water and DMSO, while diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy revealed the presence of a substantial monomeric population. Temperature dependence of the size distribution in DLS measurements suggests a dynamic equilibrium between monomers and oligomers. Solution casting produced distinct fibrillar deposits after evaporating the solvent. In the case of the apolar Ac-β (3)[ALIA] the longitudinal helix morphology gives rise to geometrically defined (∼70°) junctions between fibres, forming a mesh that opens up possibilities for applications e.g. in tissue scaffolding. The deposits of polar Ac-β (3)[SLIA] and Ac-β (3)[KLIE] exhibit fibres in regular parallel alignment over surface areas in the order of 10 μm. PMID:26909736

  5. Nanoscale templating and self-assembly of organic semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulvat, James Francis

    Improvements in organic electronic materials could lead to novel device applications, ranging from large-area, flexible displays to light weight, plastic electronics. Progress on these applications would benefit from development of low-cost, aqueous, solution-based fabrication techniques for organic semiconductors. Supramolecular self-assembly enables molecules to organize in complex structures through non-covalent interactions. The nanoscale structure and aggregation of organic semiconductors influence conductivity, charge mobility and luminescence. We developed three approaches to enhance the performance of organic semiconductors through molecular self-assembly. The first uses a liquid crystalline (LC) template to mediate electrochemical polymerization of poly(3,4-ethyldioxythiophene) (PEDOT), a conducting polymer used for hole injection in organic light emitting diodes (OLED). Monomers were polymerized in the cylindrical, hydrophobic cores of a hexagonal, lyotropic LC formed by a non-ionic amphiphile in water, The templated, conducting polymer films exhibited anisotropic optical properties and increased conductivity as a direct result of the nanoscale, self-organized structure of the template. Another approach was used to control molecular order by preparing organic semiconductors that are themselves liquid crystalline. We developed a novel series of triblock oligo(phenylene vinylene) (OPV) amphiphiles that form thermotropic and lyotropic LC mesophases. The self-organized, layered structure of these mesophases influences aggregation of OPV, enhancing fluorescence in the liquid crystalline state compared with disordered films. These OPV-amphiphiles are the first example of a water-soluble oligo(phenylene vinylene) that can self-organize into aligned, well-ordered, highly fluorescent films. In a third system, a triblock, dendron rod-coil (DRC) molecule containing a quaterthiophene segment was prepared and its self-assembly and electronic properties investigated. In non-polar solvents, this molecule formed high aspect ratio, supramolecular nanowires containing stacked oligo(thiophene) segments. These self-assembled nanowires formed conductive films that were aligned by an electric field. Using these three systems, we demonstrate how nanoscale templating and self-assembly can enhance the performance of thiophene- and phenylene vinylene-based organic semiconductors.

  6. Logical computation using algorithmic self-assembly of DNA triple-crossover molecules.

    PubMed

    Mao, C; LaBean, T H; Relf, J H; Seeman, N C

    2000-09-28

    Recent work has demonstrated the self-assembly of designed periodic two-dimensional arrays composed of DNA tiles, in which the intermolecular contacts are directed by 'sticky' ends. In a mathematical context, aperiodic mosaics may be formed by the self-assembly of 'Wang' tiles, a process that emulates the operation of a Turing machine. Macroscopic self-assembly has been used to perform computations; there is also a logical equivalence between DNA sticky ends and Wang tile edges. This suggests that the self-assembly of DNA-based tiles could be used to perform DNA-based computation. Algorithmic aperiodic self-assembly requires greater fidelity than periodic self-assembly, because correct tiles must compete with partially correct tiles. Here we report a one-dimensional algorithmic self-assembly of DNA triple-crossover molecules that can be used to execute four steps of a logical (cumulative XOR) operation on a string of binary bits. PMID:11028996

  7. Fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 from purple bacteria coupled to spherical gold nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Bujak, Ł.; Czechowski, N.; Piatkowski, D.; Litvin, R.; Mackowski, S.; Brotosudarmo, T. H. P.; Pichler, S.; Cogdell, R. J.; Heiss, W.

    2011-10-24

    The influence of plasmon excitations in spherical gold nanoparticles on the optical properties of a light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from the purple bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris has been studied. Systematic analysis is facilitated by controlling the thickness of a silica layer between Au nanoparticles and LH2 complexes. Fluorescence of LH2 complexes features substantial increase when these complexes are separated by 12 nm from the gold nanoparticles. At shorter distances, non-radiative quenching leads to a decrease of fluorescence emission. The enhancement of fluorescence originates predominantly from an increase of absorption of pigments comprising the LH2 complex.

  8. Energy transfer from conjugated polymer to bacterial light-harvesting complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buczynska, D.; Bujak, ?.; Loi, M. A.; Brotosudarmo, T. H. P.; Cogdell, R.; Mackowski, S.

    2012-10-01

    Energy transfer from a conjugated polymer blend (poly(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl):poly (2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1, 4-phenylenevinylene) to a light-harvesting complex 2 from purple bacteria has been demonstrated using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. For our hybrid nanostructure, we observe a 30% reduction of the fluorescence lifetime of the polymer emission as compared to the pure polymer layer. This result is an important step towards integrating naturally evolved biomolecules with synthetic materials into biohybrid organic electronic systems.

  9. Ab initio calculation of excitonic Hamiltonian of light-harvesting complex LH1 of Thermochromatium tepidum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlov, Maxim I.; Poddubnyy, Vladimir V.; Glebov, Ilya O.; Belov, Aleksandr S.; Khokhlov, Daniil V.

    2016-02-01

    The electronic properties of light-harvesting complexes determine the efficiency of energy transfer in photosynthetic antennae. Ab initio calculations of the electronic properties of bacteriochlorophylls (composing the LH1 complex of the purple bacteria Thermochromatium tepidum) were performed. Based on these calculations, the excitonic Hamiltonian of a native cyclic complex and the Hamiltonians of open complexes with several removed bacteriochlorophylls were constructed. Absorption spectra calculated based on these Hamiltonians agree well with the experimental data. We found that the parameters of interaction between the neighboring bacteriochlorophylls are significantly larger than the empirical parameters suggested previously.

  10. Light-harvesting effect in photoelectric conversion with dye multilayers on a semiconductor electrode

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, H.; Kawasaki, M.; Kasatani, K.; Higuchi Y.; Azuma, T.; Nishiyama, Y.

    1988-02-11

    A light-harvesting effect in the sensitized photocurrent of dye-containing multilayers on an Sb-doped SnO/sub 2/ optically transparent semiconductor electrode was studied. 2,8-Bis(dimethylamino)-10-dodecylacridinium bromide (BDA) was included as an antenna dye in the outer monolayer separated from the semiconductor surface with fatty acid monolayer(s), and dioctadecylthiacarbocyanine iodide (DTC) as a reaction center dye was incorporated in the monolayer in direct contact with the semiconductor. A remarkable enhancement of the photocurrent was observed as a result of efficient energy transfer from BDA to DTC.

  11. Toward understanding as photosynthetic biosignatures: light harvesting and energy transfer calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komatsu, Y.; Umemura, M.; Shoji, M.; Shiraishi, K.; Kayanuma, M.; Yabana, K.

    2014-03-01

    Among several proposed biosignatures, red edge is a direct evidence of photosynthetic life if it is detected (Kiang et al 2007). Red edge is a sharp change in reflectance spectra of vegetation in NIR region (about 700-750 nm). The sign of red edge is observed by Earthshine or remote sensing (Wolstencroft & Raven 2002, Woolf et al 2002). But, why around 700-750 nm? The photosynthetic organisms on Earth have evolved to optimize the sunlight condition. However, if we consider about photosynthetic organism on extrasolar planets, they should have developed to utilize the spectra of its principal star. Thus, it is not strange even if it shows different vegetation spectra. In this study, we focused on the light absorption mechanism of photosynthetic organisms on Earth and investigated the fundamental properties of the light harvesting mechanisms, which is the first stage for the light absorption. Light harvesting complexes contain photosynthetic pigments like chlorophylls. Effective light absorption and the energy transfer are accomplished by the electronic excitations of collective photosynthetic pigments. In order to investigate this mechanism, we constructed an energy transfer model by using a dipole-dipole approximation for the interactions between electronic excitations. Transition moments and transition energies of each pigment are calculated at the time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) level (Marques & Gross 2004). Quantum dynamics simulation for the excitation energy transfer was calculated by the Liouvelle's equation. We adopted the model to purple bacteria, which has been studied experimentally and known to absorb lower energy. It is meaningful to focus on the mechanism of this bacteria, since in the future mission, M planets will become a important target. We calculated the oscillator strengths in one light harvesting complex and confirmed the validity by comparing to the experimental data. This complex is made of an inner and an outer ring. The energy transfer from the outer to the inner ring can be reproduced. To deal with a realistic system, we calculated at a macro structural model. The energy transfer between light harvesting complexes is accomplished rapidly via inner rings. By exchange the original pigment to a pigment absorb lower energy, faster energy transfer occurs and the density was trapped in pigment having lower energy. We will compare the result of purple bacteria, which is considered to show longer red edge, cyanobacteria and plants.

  12. Novel techniques to improve the light harvesting of thin film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castelletto, Stefania; Boretti, Alberto

    2012-10-01

    Thin film solar cells are novel technologies receiving particular attention for their potentials to produce less expensive and more environmentally friendly renewable electricity from the sun light. This paper reports on different techniques that have been considered to improve the light harvesting, from the plasmonic resonance of noble metal nanoparticles, to the nanoparticles of a different semiconductor with different refractive index and band gap, to the anti-reflection surface textures as moth-eye-like shapes. Results of novel simulations solving the Maxwell's equations are compared to previous simulations.

  13. Light-harvesting in single conjugated polymer chains and semiconductor nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Manfred J.

    Light-harvesting characterizes the efficient absorption of light and subsequent transport of excitation energy to a reaction center and thus the two basic processes relevant to photovoltaics. In this work, light-harvesting is studied on the fundamental single particle level of two technologically relevant semiconducting material classes---nanocrystals and conjugated polymers. The approach allows for the identification of structure-property relations which can usually not be resolved in ensembles of the same materials. Specifically, photoluminescence excitation (PLE) spectroscopy under intraparticle energy transfer conditions is performed on semiconductor nanotetrapods and dye-endcapped polymer chains, both model light-harvesting systems. This way, the structural origin of hampered energy funneling to the tetrapod core as well as the distribution and interaction of polymer chain subunits (chromophores) is resolved, respectively. For the first time, the energetic distribution and vibronic coupling of absorbing chromophores is measured on single polymer chains. While the conventional chromophore picture can be confirmed by several excitation properties, unexpectedly broad single chain absorption, remote interchromophoric coupling, and a correlation between chromophore length and exciton funneling efficiency offer valuable experimental results leading to a better understanding of intrachain excitation energy transfer. For the study of this process as well as exciton self-trapping in single polymer chains, a new spectroscopic method is established: combined single molecule fluorescence and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. A comparison of both simultaneously acquired spectral signatures in the time or frequency domain can track excited state relaxation within a single polymer chain. The work is complemented by a simple screening method to identify substrates which are well suited for SERS. In short, the main results comprise (1) a tool to track intramolecular energy transfer in single polymer chains; (2) aspects for a better understanding of intrachain energy transfer; (3) the confirmation of an oligomer-like chromophore picture in single polymer absorption which, however, demands some alterations; and (4) an all-optical classification to identify and structurally characterize subgroups of nanocrystals with favorable light-harvesting properties.

  14. A Theoretical and Experimental Study of DNA Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandran, Harish

    The control of matter and phenomena at the nanoscale is fast becoming one of the most important challenges of the 21st century with wide-ranging applications from energy and health care to computing and material science. Conventional top-down approaches to nanotechnology, having served us well for long, are reaching their inherent limitations. Meanwhile, bottom-up methods such as self-assembly are emerging as viable alternatives for nanoscale fabrication and manipulation. A particularly successful bottom up technique is DNA self-assembly where a set of carefully designed DNA strands form a nanoscale object as a consequence of specific, local interactions among the different components, without external direction. The final product of the self-assembly process might be a static nanostructure or a dynamic nanodevice that performs a specific function. Over the past two decades, DNA self-assembly has produced stunning nanoscale objects such as 2D and 3D lattices, polyhedra and addressable arbitrary shaped substrates, and a myriad of nanoscale devices such as molecular tweezers, computational circuits, biosensors and molecular assembly lines. In this dissertation we study multiple problems in the theory, simulations and experiments of DNA self-assembly. We extend the Turing-universal mathematical framework of self-assembly known as the Tile Assembly Model by incorporating randomization during the assembly process. This allows us to reduce the tile complexity of linear assemblies. We develop multiple techniques to build linear assemblies of expected length N using far fewer tile types than previously possible. We abstract the fundamental properties of DNA and develop a biochemical system, which we call meta-DNA, based entirely on strands of DNA as the only component molecule. We further develop various enzyme-free protocols to manipulate meta-DNA systems and provide strand level details along with abstract notations for these mechanisms. We simulate DNA circuits by providing detailed designs for local molecular computations that involve spatially contiguous molecules arranged on addressable substrates via enzyme-free DNA hybridization reaction cascades. We use the Visual DSD simulation software in conjunction with localized reaction rates obtained from biophysical modeling to create chemical reaction networks of localized hybridization circuits that are then model checked using the PRISM model checking software. We develop a DNA detection system employing the triggered self-assembly of a novel DNA dendritic nanostructure. Detection begins when a specific, single-stranded target DNA strand triggers a hybridization chain reaction between two distinct DNA hairpins. Each hairpin opens and hybridizes up to two copies of the other, and hence each layer of the growing dendritic nanostructure can in principle accommodate an exponentially increasing number of cognate molecules, generating a nanostructure with high molecular weight. We build linear activatable assemblies employing a novel protection/deprotection strategy to strictly enforce the direction of tiling assembly growth to ensure the robustness of the assembly process. Our system consists of two tiles that can form a linear co-polymer. These tiles, which are initially protected such that they do not react with each other, can be activated to form linear co-polymers via the use of a strand displacing enzyme.

  15. Self-assembly triggered by self-assembly: optically active, paramagnetic micelles encapsulated in protein cage nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Milln, Jealemy Galindo; Brasch, Melanie; Anaya-Plaza, Eduardo; de la Escosura, Andrs; Velders, Aldrik H; Reinhoudt, David N; Torres, Toms; Koay, Melissa S T; Cornelissen, Jeroen J L M

    2014-07-01

    In this contribution, optically active and paramagnetic micelles of the ligand 1,4,7,10-tetraaza-1-(1-carboxymethylundecane)-4,7,10-triacetic acid cyclododecane (DOTAC10) have been incorporated inside capsids of the cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) protein through a hierarchical process of self-assembly triggered by self-assembly. The DOTAC10 ligand was used to complex Gd(III), in order to form paramagnetic micelles, as well as to encapsulate an amphiphilic Zn(II) phthalocyanine (ZnPc) dye that optically confirmed the encapsulation of the micelles. The incorporation of ZnPc molecules in the paramagnetic micelles led to high capsid loading of both Gd(III) and ZnPc, as the micelles were stabilized by the amphiphilic dye encapsulation. The resulting protein cage nanoparticles (PCNs) show an improved r1 relaxivity, suggesting the possible use of these nanostructures as contrast agents (CAs) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Since the encapsulated ZnPc dye also has a potential therapeutic value, the present results represent a first step towards the consecution of fully self-assembled PCNs for multimodal imaging and therapy. PMID:24513535

  16. Combustion and self-assembly of nanoenergetic materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malchi, Jonathan Yaniv

    The recent worldwide interest in nanotechnology spans a wide variety of scientific fields such as electronics, biology, materials science and medicine. Because of their extremely small dimensions, nanoparticles demonstrate properties different from matter at larger scales. Understanding these unusual properties and utilizing them for macroscale devices is an overall goal for nanotechnology. Moreover, manipulating these small particles into organized structures is crucial for taking full advantage of what nanotechnology has to offer, however it has proven to be a difficult task. Recent work utilizing electrostatic forces shows great potential for the self-assembly of nanoparticles into organized two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures. Overall, this work examines how nanotechnology and self-assembly can benefit the field of energetic materials. Because of aluminum's high energy density and low cost, it has been used in the field of energetic materials for several decades. In order to achieve sufficient energy release rates, aluminum is typically manufactured as a powder having spherical particles with diameters on the micron scale. It is well-known that decreasing the original particle diameter of a fuel particle will increase the burning time and, thus, energy release rate. Therefore, aluminum particles have recently been made to have diameters on the nanoscale, and shown to be advantageous for several applications. The combustion of nanoaluminum (nAl) in various systems is the primary focus of this study. A progression of experiments is used to analyze the combustion of nAl: (1) a fully heterogeneous flame spread system, (2) a semi-homogeneous sonicated thermite system and (3) a quasi-homogeneous self-assembled thermite system. The flame spread experiment physically separates the nAl from the gaseous oxidizer allowing for a well-understood convective, diffusive, reactive system to be analyzed. Because of the simplicity of the experimental setup, variables are easily changed and their effects on the flame spread rate are observed. Overall, spread rates are 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than what is demonstrated with typical solid fuels due to the high reactivity of the nAl. This large difference in spread rate brings about a fingering combustion instability in normal gravity conditions that has only been shown to occur in microgravity conditions. Moreover, a stability map is created based on the nondimensional Lewis and Damkohler numbers that predicts when a continuous flame front will transition to a fingering instability. This, along with the various other trends, is predicted using a simple scaling analysis. A nanoscale thermite is created via sonication of nAl and nanocopper-oxide (nCuO) particles. Although the mixture is unorganized and random, these materials boast extremely exothermic reactions with propagation rates on the order of 1 km/s. Experiments are performed to examine the effect of adding a diluent to the system. Two types of materials are added, a stable end product, aluminum-oxide, and long alkyl chain hydrocarbons. Both materials severely hinder the propagation rate, however, experiments suggest that hydrocarbon addition could help with the material's sensitivity to electrostatic discharge. Equilibrium calculations suggest that a dual temperature and gas production criteria must be met to allow for the convective propagation mechanism to take place and fast propagation rates to occur. Because of the hydrocarbons required for self-assembly, these experiments also give an indication of how the self-assembled material will react. To electrostatically self-assemble a nAl/nCuO thermite, the constituents are first coated with an o-functionalized alkyl chain ligand and suspended in a separate solutions. Upon mixing, the opposite electrostatic charges agglomerate the two constituents, which subsequently precipitate out of solution. Analyzing the material with Scanning Electron Microscopy shows that a portion has self-assembled into microspheres having diameters from 1-5mum. This is the first known energetic nanocomposite built with a bottom-up engineering approach. The combustion properties of the self-assembled material are compared to that of the sonicated material, with similar amounts of added hydrocarbons. The propagation in microchannels is examined. Unlike the sonicated material, the self-assembled material is able to achieve ignition and propagate the full length of the microchannel. This gives indication that electrostatic self-assembly is a viable method for building energetic materials from the bottom-up, and could potentially increase the intimacy of the mixing.

  17. A Bloch equation approach to intensity dependent optical spectra of light harvesting complex II: excitation dependence of light harvesting complex II pump-probe spectra.

    PubMed

    Richter, Marten; Renger, Thomas; Knorr, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    On the basis of the recent progress in the resolution of the structure of the antenna light harvesting complex II (LHC II) of the photosystem II, we propose a microscopically motivated theory to predict excitation intensity-dependent spectra. We show that optical Bloch equations provide the means to include all 2( N ) excited states of an oligomer complex of N coupled two-level systems and analyze the effects of Pauli Blocking and exciton-exciton annihilation on pump-probe spectra. We use LHC Bloch equations for 14 Coulomb coupled two-level systems, which describe the S (0) and S (1) level of every chlorophyll molecule. All parameter introduced into the Hamiltonian are based on microscopic structure and a quantum chemical model. The derived Bloch equations describe not only linear absorption but also the intensity dependence of optical spectra in a regime where the interplay of Pauli Blocking effects as well as exciton-exciton annihilation effects are important. As an example, pump-probe spectra are discussed. The observed saturation of the spectra for high intensities can be viewed as a relaxation channel blockade on short time scales due to Pauli blocking. The theoretical investigation is useful for the interpretation of the experimental data, if the experimental conditions exceed the low intensity pump limit and effects like strong Pauli Blocking and exciton-exciton annihilation need to be considered. These effects become important when multiple excitations are generated by the pump pulse in the complex. PMID:17924202

  18. Realizing omnidirectional light harvesting by employing hierarchical architecture for dye sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ming-Yang; Lai, Fang-I; Chen, Wei-Chun; Hsieh, Min-Chi; Hu, Hsiang-Yi; Yu, Peichen; Kuo, Hao-Chung; Kuo, Shou-Yi

    2016-03-01

    To improve the omnidirectional light-harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), here we present a dandelion-like structure composed of ZnO hemispherical shells and nanorods. Uniformly distributed hemispherical shells effectively suppress the reflection over the broadband region at incident angles up to 60°, greatly improving the optical absorption of the DSSCs. In addition, modulating the length of the ZnO nanorods controls the omnidirectional characteristics of DSSCs. This phenomenon is attributed to the degree of periodicity of the ZnO dandelion-like structures. Cells with shorter rods exhibit a high degree of periodicity, thus the conversion efficiencies of the cells show specific angle-independent features. On the other hand, the cells with longer lengths reveal angle-dependent photovoltaic performance. Along with the simulation, the cells with dandelion-like ZnO structures can couple incident photons efficiently to achieve excellent broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting performances experimentally, and the DSSCs enhanced the conversion efficiency by 48% at large incident angles. All these findings not only provide further insight into the light-trapping mechanism in these complex three-dimensional nanostructures but also offer efficient omnidirectional and broadband nanostructured photovoltaics for advanced applications. PMID:26899775

  19. Zeaxanthin Radical Cation Formation in Minor Light-Harvesting Complexes of Higher Plant Antenna

    SciTech Connect

    Avenson, Thomas H.; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Zigmantas, Donatas; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Li, Zhirong; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-01-31

    Previous work on intact thylakoid membranes showed that transient formation of a zeaxanthin radical cation was correlated with regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting via energy-dependent quenching. A molecular mechanism for such quenching was proposed to involve charge transfer within a chlorophyll-zeaxanthin heterodimer. Using near infrared (880-1100 nm) transient absorption spectroscopy, we demonstrate that carotenoid (mainly zeaxanthin) radical cation generation occurs solely in isolated minor light-harvesting complexes that bind zeaxanthin, consistent with the engagement of charge transfer quenching therein. We estimated that less than 0.5percent of the isolated minor complexes undergo charge transfer quenching in vitro, whereas the fraction of minor complexes estimated to be engaged in charge transfer quenching in isolated thylakoids was more than 80 times higher. We conclude that minor complexes which bind zeaxanthin are sites of charge transfer quenching in vivo and that they can assume Non-quenching and Quenching conformations, the equilibrium LHC(N)<--> LHC(Q) of which is modulated by the transthylakoid pH gradient, the PsbS protein, and protein-protein interactions.

  20. In Vivo Identification of Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complexes Interacting with PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT S.

    PubMed

    Gerotto, Caterina; Franchin, Cinzia; Arrigoni, Giorgio; Morosinotto, Tomas

    2015-08-01

    Light is the primary energy source for photosynthetic organisms, but in excess, it can generate reactive oxygen species and lead to cell damage. Plants evolved multiple mechanisms to modulate light use efficiency depending on illumination intensity to thrive in a highly dynamic natural environment. One of the main mechanisms for protection from intense illumination is the dissipation of excess excitation energy as heat, a process called nonphotochemical quenching. In plants, nonphotochemical quenching induction depends on the generation of a pH gradient across thylakoid membranes and on the presence of a protein called PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT S (PSBS). Here, we generated Physcomitrella patens lines expressing histidine-tagged PSBS that were exploited to purify the native protein by affinity chromatography. The mild conditions used in the purification allowed copurifying PSBS with its interactors, which were identified by mass spectrometry analysis to be mainly photosystem II antenna proteins, such as LIGHT-HARVESTING COMPLEX B (LHCB). PSBS interaction with other proteins appears to be promiscuous and not exclusive, although the major proteins copurified with PSBS were components of the LHCII trimers (LHCB3 and LHCBM). These results provide evidence of a physical interaction between specific photosystem II light-harvesting complexes and PSBS in the thylakoids, suggesting that these subunits are major players in heat dissipation of excess energy. PMID:26069151