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Columbia Engineering researchers, working with Brookhaven National Laboratory, report today that they have built designed nanoparticle-based 3D materials that can withstand a vacuum, high temperatures, high pressure, and high radiation. This new fabrication process results in robust and fully engineered nanoscale frameworks that not only can accommodate a variety of functional nanoparticle types but also can be quickly processed with conventional nanofabrication methods.

"These self-assembled nanoparticles-based materials are so resilient that they could fly in space," says Oleg Gang, professor of chemical engineering and of applied physics and , who led the study published today by Science Advances. "We were able to transition 3D DNA-nanoparticle architectures from liquid state—and from being a pliable material—to , where silica re-enforces DNA struts. This new material fully maintains its original framework architecture of DNA-nanoparticle lattice, essentially creating a 3D inorganic replica. This allowed us to explore—for the first time—how these nanomaterials can battle harsh conditions, how they form, and what their properties are."

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