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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5657-5665
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 23 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • DNA
  • cluster
  • fluorescence
  • nanoparticle
  • quantum dots
  • self-assembly


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