Recent developments in bionanotechnology have produced a knowledge pool that enables the fabrication, functionalization, and activation of inorganic nanostructures. Continued progress in this field has led to advances in inorganic nanomaterial control, providing for the generation of catalysts that operate under biologically influenced conditions of temperature, pressure, and solvent. Outlined in this Perspective are a selection of catalysts active for a variety of reactions including C-C coupling, chemical reduction, electrocatalysis, and bond cleavage reactions, where a combination of both the inorganic core and biological surface work in concert to achieve the final functionality. By fully understanding the total structure/function relationship of these bio-inspired nanomaterials, new catalytic structures could be designed using biological principles that are energy neutral, eco-friendly, and selective, all of which represent grand challenges in light of the current global condition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas