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Biomimetic Alignment of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles along a Peptide Nanofiber

Tomizaki, Kin-ya, Kubo, Seiya, Ahn, Soo-Ang, Satake, Masahiko, Imai, Takahito
Langmuir 2012 v.28 no.37 pp. 13459-13466
ambient temperature, biomimetics, catalysts, crystals, mineralization, nanofibers, nanoparticles, peptides, photovoltaic cells, physicochemical properties, surface area, transistors, zinc oxide
Zinc oxide (ZnO) has potential applications in solar cells, chemical sensors, and piezoelectronic and optoelectronic devices due to its attractive physical and chemical properties. Recently, a solution-phase method has been used to synthesize ZnO crystals with diverse (from simple to hierarchical) nanostructures that is simple, of low cost, and scalable. This method requires template molecules to control the morphology of the ZnO crystals. In this paper, we describe the design and synthesis of two short peptides (RU-003,Ac-AIEKAXEIA-NH₂; RU-027, EAHVMHKVAPRPGGGAIEKAXEIA-NH₂; X = l-2-naphthylalanine) and the characterization of their self-assembled nanostructures. We also report their potential for ZnO mineralization and the alignment of ZnO nanoparticles along peptide nanostructures at room temperature. Interestingly, nonapeptide RU-003 predominantly formed a straight fibrous structure and induced the nucleation of ZnO at its surface, leading to an alignment of ZnO nanoparticles along a peptide nanofiber. This novel method holds promise for the room-temperature fabrication of ZnO catalysts with increased specific surface area, ZnO-gated transistors, and ZnO-based nanomaterials for optical applications.