IST Lunch Bunch
To scale up the complexity and diversity of synthetic molecular structures, one needs to develop strategies that take advantage of the inherent stochasticity of molecular systems, while maintaining sufficient control with embedded deterministic rules. We showed that the principle of non-deterministic Truchet tiling can be applied to provide a simple solution for creating complex nanoscale patterns that have combinatorial diversity and programmable features. As examples, we constructed a large variety of fully-packed loops, random mazes and trees, each self-assembled from up to thousands of square DNA origami tiles. We demonstrated how to control the size and properties of these emergent patterns through distinct tile designs and through the probability of distinct tile types of the same design. In principle, our strategy for creating "programmable disorder" can be generally applied in engineered molecular systems to enable simple solutions for problems that simultaneously demand complexity and diversity.