Aggregation-disaggregation transition of DNA-coated colloids: Experiments and theory

Rémi Dreyfus, Mirjam E. Leunissen, Roujie Sha, Alexei Tkachenko, Nadrian C. Seeman, David J. Pine, Paul M. Chaikin

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Colloids coated with complementary single-stranded DNA "sticky ends" associate and dissociate upon heating. Recently, microscopy experiments have been carried out where this association-dissociation transition has been investigated for different types of DNA and different DNA coverages. It has been shown that this transition can be described by a simple quantitative model which takes into account the features of the tethered DNA on the particles and unravels the importance of an entropy cost due to DNA confinement between the surfaces. In this paper, we first present an extensive description of the experiments that were carried out. A step-by-step model is then developed starting from the level of statistical mechanics of tethered DNA to that of colloidal aggregates. This model is shown to describe the experiments with excellent agreement for the temperature and width of the transition, which are both essential properties for complex self-assembly processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041404
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 23 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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