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Self-Assembly of Rodlike Virus to Superlattices

Li, Tao, Zan, Xingjie, Sun, Yong, Zuo, Xiaobing, Li, Xiaodong, Senesi, Andrew, Winans, Randall E., Wang, Qian, Lee, Byeongdu
Langmuir 2013 v.29 no.41 pp. 12777-12784
Tobacco mosaic virus, X-radiation, aqueous solutions, bacteriophages, entropy, methylcellulose, nanoparticles, polymers, sodium chloride, temperature, transmission electron microscopy
Rodlike tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) has been found to assemble into superlattices in aqueous solution using the polymer methylcellulose to induce depletion and free volume entropy-based attractive forces. Both transmission electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering show that the superlattices form in both semidilute and concentrated regimes of polymer, where the free volume entropy and the depletion interaction are the dominant driving force, respectively. The superlattices are NaCl and temperature responsive. The rigidity of the rodlike nanoparticles also plays an important role for the formation of superlattices through the free volume entropy mechanism. Compared to the rigid TMV particle, flexible bacteriophage M13 particles are only responsive to the depletion force and thus only assemble in highly concentrated polymer solution, where depletion interaction is dominant.