Peptide-Driven Fabrication of Catalytically Reactive Rhodium Nanoplates

Atul D. Parab, Joseph M. Slocik, Rajesh R. Naik, Marc R. Knecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Here we present the use of a well-known materials binding peptide for the generation of highly catalytically reactive Rh nanoplates. To this end, the A3 peptide, originally isolated with affinity for Ag, but with known abilities to bind Au, was used to generate Rh nanomaterials in solution. Rh was selected due to its established catalytic reactivity for numerous reactions; however, the preparation of materials of this composition typically requires high reaction temperatures and potentially caustic conditions. By use of the A3 peptide, Rh nanoplates can be generated in water, at room temperature, on the benchtop. The final structures were not spherical materials, which is typical for peptide-capped nanoparticles, but were plate-like in morphology. The materials were fully characterized and analyzed for olefin hydrogenation reactions. For this, the peptide-capped Rh nanoplates were highly reactive for alkene hydrogenation; however, the hydrogenation of alkynes was exceedingly slow and potentially blocked the surface to greatly inhibit reactivity. These results present a pathway toward the fundamental understanding of the structure/function relationship of peptide-capped nanocatalysts, which could be exploited for the future design of new materials with enhanced reactivity that are prepared under ambient conditions. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7149-7158
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2018


  • Rh
  • bio-inspired
  • catalysis
  • hydrogenation
  • nanoplates
  • peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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