Biomineralization of inorganic nanostructures using protein surfaces
Bergman, Kathryn N.
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In nature, organisms have long been able to create elaborate mineral structures at ambient temperatures. From a materials science and engineering perspective, favorable properties emerge when the synthesis process can be controlled at finer levels. New strategies in materials chemistry synthesis has been inspired by biomineralization: biomimetics. In this work, silk fibroin films were used to synthesize gold nanoparticles room temperature by soaking a free standing 15nm silk film in HAuCl4. Particles ranged in size and shape from 5nm spheres to 105nm hexagons. Secondly, a film of ZnO1 peptide (ZnO selectively binding peptide) was successfully formed by drop casting on both silk and polystyrene surfaces. Using a HMT + Zn(NO3)2 system for ZnO wet chemical deposition, rods were formed on the peptide surface. Changing solution concentration and growth time affected the density and size of the nanorods. Spin coating a 3nm peptide film reduced the roughness to <1nm, upon which an array of vertical ZnO rods with controllable density was synthesized.