A new approach to form icosahedral quasicrystals

A new approach to form icosahedral quasicrystals


A collaboration between the Doye group and Eva González Noya at the Instituto de Química Física Rocasolanohas in Madrid has led to a paper in the 19 August issue of Nature. This computational study introduces a new class of icosahedral quasicrystals that are stabilized by directional bonding, and a potential way to realize them using DNA origami particles. Such quasicrystals have only been previously observed for metallic alloys with Dan Shechtman recieving the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery.

The image shows a close-up of a cut through one of the quasicrystals viewed along a five-fold axis of symmetry. Key building blocks are icosahedral clusters (the yellow and cyan rhombic triacontahedra in the image) which form in a matrix of particles that propagates the global order.

Full paper: How to design an icosahedral quasicrystal through directional bonding, Eva G. Noya, Chak Kui Wong, Pablo Llombart & Jonathan P. K. Doye, Nature, 596, 367-371 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03700-2

A blog post on the Oxford University News site by Jonathan Doye:

A blog post on Nature Portfolio Chemistry Community by Eva González Noya describing the story behind the paper: Designing particles to form an icosahedral quasicrystal | Nature Portfolio Chemistry Community