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RAP opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory     NRL

DNA-based Nanoplasmonics


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Center for Bio/Molecular Science & Engineering

opportunity location
64.15.09.C0367 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Sebastian Andres Diaz 202.404.6018


The goal is to combine DNA-based structural technology with the functionality of plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) for the development of novel metamaterials, enhanced catalysis and to provide control over biological molecules. 1) DNA can self-organize into complex nanostructures (e.g. DNA origami). These DNA nanostructures allow for the precise attachment of multiple NPs with angstrom precision to develop novel metamaterials. 2) The localized plasmon of Gold NPs (AuNPs) can activate a conjugated enzyme in a spatiotemporal manner. AuNPs utilize visible and/or near IR light irradiation to locally heat the environment. This local heating has been used most notably in photothermal therapy, but it can also be used to control the activity of an enzyme attached to the AuNP surface. This methodology can provide exquisite control of enzymatic activity, as the reaction only occurs near the AuNP surface and can be modulated by an external light source.

  1. Green, et al, “Direct and efficient conjugation of quantum dots to DNA nanostructures with peptide-PNA” ACS Nano, (2021).

  2. Hastman, et al, “Femtosecond Laser Pulse Excitation of DNA Labeled Gold Nanoparticles: Establishing a Quantitative Local Nanothermometer for Biological Applications” ACS Nano, (2020).
  3. Díaz, et al, "Gold Nanoparticle Templating Increases the Catalytic Rate of an Amylase, Maltase, and Glucokinase Multienzyme Cascade through Substrate Channeling Independent of Surface Curvature", ACS Catalysis, (2021).

key words
DNA; Plasmonics; Nanoparticles; Photothermal Heating; Metamaterials; Enzyme Activation


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$94,199.00 $3,000.00
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