Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Selection of peptides with semiconductor binding specificity for directed nanocrystal assembly

Abstract

In biological systems, organic molecules exert a remarkable level of control over the nucleation and mineral phase of inorganic materials such as calcium carbonate and silica, and over the assembly of crystallites and other nanoscale building blocks into complex structures required for biological function1,2,3,4. This ability to direct the assembly of nanoscale components into controlled and sophisticated structures has motivated intense efforts to develop assembly methods that mimic or exploit the recognition capabilities and interactions found in biological systems5,6,7,8,9,10. Of particular value would be methods that could be applied to materials with interesting electronic or optical properties, but natural evolution has not selected for interactions between biomolecules and such materials. However, peptides with limited selectivity for binding to metal surfaces and metal oxide surfaces have been successfully selected10,11. Here we extend this approach and show that combinatorial phage-display libraries can be used to evolve peptides that bind to a range of semiconductor surfaces with high specificity, depending on the crystallographic orientation and composition of the structurally similar materials we have used. As electronic devices contain structurally related materials in close proximity, such peptides may find use for the controlled placement and assembly of a variety of practically important materials, thus broadening the scope for ‘bottom-up’ fabrication approaches.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Selected amino-acid sequences of randomized peptide inserts.
Figure 2: Detection of gold-labelled phage on GaAs using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
Figure 3: AFM and TEM analysis of peptide–semiconductor recognition.
Figure 4: Phage recognition of semiconductor heterostructures.

References

  1. Belcher, A. M. et al. Control of crystal phase switching and orientation by soluble mollusc-shell proteins. Nature 381, 56– 58 (1996).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Falini, G. et al. Control of aragonite or calcite polymorphism by mollusk shell macromolecules. Science 271, 67– 69 (1996).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Cha, J. N. Silicatein filaments and subunits from a marine sponge direct the polymerization of silica and silicones in vitro. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 361–365 (1999).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Meldrum, F. C., Mann, S., Heywood, B. R., Frankel, R. B. & Bazylinski, D. A. Electron microscopy study of magnetosomes in two cultured vibrioid magnetotactic bacteria. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 251, 238–242 ( 1993).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Colvin, V. L., Goldstein, A. N. & Alivisatos, A. P. Semiconductor nanocrystals covalently bound to metal surfaces with self-assembled monolayers. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144, 5221–5230 (1992).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Brust, M., Bethell, D., Schiffrin, D. J. & Kiely, C. J. Novel gold-dithiol nano-networks with nonmetal electronic properties. Adv. Mater. 7, 795–797 ( 1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Li, M., Wong, K. K. W. & Mann, S. Organization of inorganic nanoparticles using biotin-streptavidin connectors. Chem. Mater. 11, 23– 26 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Alivisatos, A. P. et al. Organization of ‘nanocrystal molecules’ using DNA. Nature 382, 609–611 (1996).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Mirkin, C. A., Letsinger, R. L., Mucic, R. C. & Storhoff, J. J. A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials. Nature 382, 607– 609 (1996).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Brown, S. Engineered iron oxide-adhesion mutants of the Escherichi coli phage λ receptor. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 89, 8651–8655 (1992).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Brown, S. Metal-recognition by repeating polypeptides. Nature Biotechnol. 15, 269–272 ( 1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Parmley, S. F. & Smith, G. P. Antibody-selectable filamentous Fd phage vectors- affinity purification of target genes. Gene 73, 305–318 ( 1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Swaminathan, V. & Macrander, A. T. Materials Aspects of GaAs and InP Based Structures (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1991).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank D. Margolese, D. Morse and G. Stucky for discussions, and H. Reese, J. English and R. Naone for providing semiconductor substrates. We acknowledge the use of the core microscopy facilities in the Texas Materials Institute (SEM). We also thank the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (TEM) at the University of Texas at Austin. We acknowledge the assistance of the NSF-sponsored National Nanofabrication Users Network in providing some of the structures for this project. This work was supported by ARO/DARPA (S.R.W and A.M.B), a DuPont Young Investigator Award (A.M.B.), the NSF (P.F.B. and E.L.H.) and the Robert A. Welch Foundation (P.F.B. and A.M.B.). This work was also funded by faculty start-up funds provided by the University of Texas at Austin (A.M.B.).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Angela M. Belcher.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Whaley, S., English, D., Hu, E. et al. Selection of peptides with semiconductor binding specificity for directed nanocrystal assembly. Nature 405, 665–668 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/35015043

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/35015043

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing