Optical Control of Biomimetic Nanoparticle Catalysts Based upon the Metal Component

Randy L. Lawrence, Vincent J. Cendan, Billy Scola, Yang Liu, Chang Keun Lim, Paras N. Prasad, Mark T. Swihart, Marc R. Knecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nanoparticle catalysts provide an intriguing route to achieving sustainable reactivity. Recent evidence has suggested that both the underlying metallic core and the passivating ligand layer can be exploited to control reactivity. The intimate interactions between the core metal and structure of the ligand layer can change based upon the metal used to generate the catalytic particle. Through judicious selection of both components, nanoparticle catalytic systems can be designed to be stimuli responsive for controlled reactivity. Herein, we demonstrate the effects of the underlying metal on the optically modulated catalytic activity of peptide-capped noble metal nanoparticles. For this, a photoswitch was incorporated into the peptide that enables reversible reconfiguration of the bioligand overlayer structure between two conformations based upon the isomerization state of the photoswitch. These changes in activity are dependent upon the inorganic metal of the particle core, and we exploit this dependence to demonstrate changes in the activity. The materials were fully characterized via spectroscopic methods and microscopy to correlate the observed reactivity to the material composition. The results provide new pathways to achieve remotely responsive catalysts that could be important for controlled multistep reactions or be exploited for other applications including biosensing and plasmonic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28055-28064
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 13 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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