Peptide-based strategies represent transformative approaches to fabricate functional inorganic materials under sustainable conditions by modeling the methods exploited in biology. In general, peptides with inorganic affinity and specificity have been isolated from organisms and through biocombinatorial selection techniques (ie, phage and cell surface display). These peptides recognize and bind the inorganic surface through a series of noncovalent interactions, driven by both enthalpic and entropic contributions, wherein the biomolecules wrap the metallic nanoparticle structure. Through these interactions, modification of the inorganic surface can be accessed to drive the incorporation of significantly disordered surface metal atoms, which have been found to be highly catalytically active for a variety of chemical transformations. We have employed synthetic, site-directed mutagenesis studies to reveal localized binding effects of the peptide at the metallic nanoparticle structure to begin to identify the biological basis of control over biomimetic nanoparticle catalytic activity. The protocols described herein were used to fabricate and characterize peptide-capped nanoparticles in atomic resolution to identify peptide sequence effects on the surface structure of the materials, which can then be directly correlated to the catalytic activity to identify structure/function relationships.