The nanoscale engineering of functional chemical assemblies has attracted recent research effort to provide dense information storage, miniaturized sensors, efficient energy conversion, light-harvesting, and mechanical motion. Functional nanoparticles exhibiting unique photonic, electronic and catalytic properties provide invaluable building blocks for such nanoengineered architectures. Metal nanoparticle arrays crosslinked by molecular receptor units on electrodes act as selective sensing interfaces with controlled porosity and tunable sensitivity. Photosensitizer/electron-acceptor bridged arrays of Au-nanoparticles on conductive supports act as photoelectrochemically active electrodes. Semiconductor nanoparticle composites on surfaces act as efficient light collecting systems, and nanoengineered semiconductor 'core-shell' nanocrystal assemblies reveal enhanced photoelectrochemical performance due to effective charge separation. Layered metal and semiconductor nanoparticle arrays crosslinked by nucleic acids find applications in the optical, electronic and photoelectrochemical detection of DNA. Metal and semiconductor nanoparticles assembled on DNA templates may be used to generate complex electronic circuitry. Nanoparticles incorporated in hydrogel matrices yield new composite materials with novel magnetic, optical and electronic properties.
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