Tuning optical properties of self-assembled nanoparticle network with external optical excitation
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DNA-driven self-assembly enables precise positioning of the colloidal nanoparticles owing to specific Watson-Crick interactions. Another important feature of this self-assembly method is its reversibility by controlling the temperature of the medium. In this work, we study the potential of another mechanism to control the binding/unbinding process of DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles. We employ laser radiation that can be absorbed by the gold nanoparticles to heat their network and disassociate it. Here, we show that we can actively control the optical properties of the nanoparticle network by external optical excitation. We find out that by irradiating the structure with a green hand-held laser, the total transmittance can increase by similar to 30% compared to the transmittance of the sample not irradiated by the laser. Similarly, the optical microscopy images indicate the transformation of the nanoparticle network from opaque to transparent, while the nanoparticles formed a network again after the laser irradiation stopped. Our results prove that the optical excitation can be used to tailor the structure and thus the optical properties of the DNA-self-assembled nanoparticle networks.