Interfacial control of SWNTs with multifunctional peptides


Mark J. Pender,, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, 2941 Hobson Way, Bldg 654, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433, Jeffrey Hartgerink, Department of Chemistry, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, Morley O. Stone, AFRL/MLPJ, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, 3005 P Street, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433, and Rajesh R. Naik,, Biotechnology Group, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, 3005 Hobson Way, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7702.
The P1 dodecapeptide identified from a combinatorial phage peptide display library has a strong affinity for single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The P1 peptide is able to suspend SWNTs produced by the HiPco process in aqueous solution to form a homogeneous dark-colored solution. We exploited the ability of P1 peptide to coat and suspend SWNTs in the design of multifunctional peptides that not only suspend SWNTs but also contain a peptide domain that is capable of precipitating inorganics from precursor solutions specifically on carbon nanotube surfaces. This biomimetic approach is of particular interest for aqueous suspensions of SWNTs, which can precipitate easily with modest changes in environmental parameters. Such a route for the noncovalent modification of the SWNT interface will lead to new capabilities in SWNT processing and nanocomposite fabrication.