Direct growth of shape-controlled nanocrystals on nanotubes via biological recognition

J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Dec 3;125(48):14837-40. doi: 10.1021/ja037117i.


The new biological approach was examined to fabricate shape-controlled Ag nanocrystals grown directly on surfaces, inspired by nature that various shapes of nanocrystals are produced accurately and reproducibly in biological systems. Here we demonstrate the direct growth of hexagon-shaped Ag nanocrystals on sequenced peptide-coated nanotubes via biological recognition. When the peptide, Asn-Pro-Ser-Ser-Leu-Phe-Arg-Tyr-Leu-Pro-Ser-Asp, recognizing and effecting the Ag nanocrystal growth on the (111) face, was sequenced and incorporated onto template nanotube surfaces, the biomineralization of Ag ions on the nanotubes led the isotropic hexagon-shaped Ag nanocrystal coating under pH control of the growth solution. Multiple Ag nanocrystal shapes were observed when the peptide mineralized Ag ions without the template nanotubes, and therefore the template nanotube has a significant influence on regulating the majority of Ag nanocrystals into the hexagonal shape. This biological approach, using specific peptide sequences on surfaces to control nanocrystal shapes, may be developed as a simple and economical method to produce building blocks with desired physical properties for new generation of electronics, sensors, and optical devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Crystallization
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry*
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Oligopeptides
  • Silver