Quasi 3D imaging of DNA-gold nanoparticle tetrahedral structures

Avigail Stern, Dvir Rotem, Inna Popov, Danny Porath*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Verification by imaging of the structure of 3D DNA constructs, both bare and conjugated to metal nanoparticles, is challenging. We demonstrate here two transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based methods to distinguish between fully formed tetrahedra, synthesized from DNA conjugated with gold nanoparticles (GNPs) at their vertices, and structures which are only partially formed. When deposited on a surface, fully formed tetrahedra are expected to retain their 3D pyramidal structure, while partially formed structures are expected to form a 2D structure. The first method by which 3D and 2D structures were distinguished was imaging them at different defocusing values. While for 2D structures all the four GNPs acquire Fresnel fringes at the same defocusing value, for 3D structures at least one particle is at a different plane with respect to the others, and so it acquires Fresnel fringes at a different defocusing value. The second method we show is imaging of the structures at different angles. While a single TEM image gives only a 2D projection of the structure, by combining information achieved from imaging at several tilting angles one may verify the structural construct.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number164203
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number16
StatePublished - 25 Apr 2012


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