Probing the nature of charge transfer at nano-bio interfaces: Peptides on metal oxide nanoparticles

Pilarisetty Tarakeshwar, Julio L. Palma, Gregory P. Holland, Petra Fromme, Jeffery L. Yarger, Vladimiro Mujica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Characterizing the nano-bio interface has been a long-standing endeavor in the quest for novel biosensors, biophotovoltaics, and biocompatible electronic devices. In this context, the present computational work on the interaction of two peptides, A6K (Ac-AAAAAAK-NH2) and A7 (Ac-AAAAAAA-NH2) with semiconducting TiO2 nanoparticles is an effort to understand the peptide-metal oxide nanointerface. These investigations were spurred by recent experimental observations that nanostructured semiconducting metal oxides templated with A6K peptides not only stabilize large proteins like photosystem-I (PS-I) but also exhibit enhanced charge-transfer characteristics. Our results indicate that α-helical structures of A6K are not only energetically more stabilized on TiO2 nanoparticles, but the resulting hybrids also exhibit enhanced electron transfer characteristics. This enhancement can be attributed to substantial changes in the electronic characteristics at the peptide-TiO2 interface. Apart from understanding the mechanism of electron transfer (ET) in peptide-stabilized PS-I on metal oxide nanoparticles, the current work also has implications in the development of novel solar cells and photocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3555-3559
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 16 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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