Owing to their unique optical properties, colloidal quantum dots (QDs) have attracted much attention as versatile fluorescent markers with broad biological and physical applications. On the other hand, DNA-based assembly has proven to be a powerful bottom-up approach to create designer nanoscale objects and to use these objects for the site-directed arrangement of guest components. To achieve good colloidal stability and accurate positioning of QDs on DNA templates, robust QD surface functionalization is crucial. Here, we present a simple and reliable conjugation method for the direct attachment of DNA molecules to QDs. Phosphorothiolated regions of chimera oligonucleotides are attached and incorporated into a ZnS layer freshly growing in situ on QDs that were rendered water soluble with hydrophilic ligands in a prior step. The reaction can be completed in a 2 mL plastic tube without any special equipment. The utility of these DNA-labeled QDs is demonstrated via prototypical assemblies such as QDs dimers with various spacings and chiral helical architectures.
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