Polypeptide-Inorganic Solid Surface Interaction for Opto-Electronics

Principal Investigator: Mehmet Sarikaya

Protein self-assembly is an important and viable method to generate nanostructures, which can have novel properties and functionalities useful for applications from electronics to sensors. These nanostructures, when formed on flat inorganic surfaces, can be useful in modifying the optical and electronic properties of the surfaces. However, establishing the correlation between amino acid sequences and the molecular interactions that lead to self-assembly on solid surfaces has proven difficult due to the complexities of protein-solid systems. There is currently no universal method to create proteins that can self-assemble in an efficient and controlled way into long-range ordered nanostructures on atomic single layer materials such as graphi

The present invention provides a method for generating polypeptides that bind specifically to inorganic surfaces such as graphite, graphene, and other inorganic materials. The polypeptide arrays can be tuned to bind selectively to specific inorganic solid surfaces and subsequent self-directed assembly producing high quality and uniform monolayer. The structures generated have been shown to form long-range ordered structures such as nanowires, quantum dots, and nanoparticles on the inorganic surfaces. They also have the ability to form nanoscale p-n junctions that modulate the opto-electronic properties of the surfaces.

• The invention can be used to generate a specific polypeptide sequences that can be modified to form a variety of ordered arrays on inorganic surfaces. 

• The self-assembled structures may include any of the following: porous confluent film, peptide clusters, nanowires, quantum dots, metallic and insulator nanoparticles, or nanoscale p-n junctions for making electronic devices, sensors and other devices or tailoring surface properties. 

• The technology may be used in protein chips, peptide-molecular circuits, designer proteins, semiconductor structures and sensors.

For more info, contact: Ryan Buckmaster