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Issue 20, 2012
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Surface chemical functionalization of single walled carbon nanotubes with a bacteriorhodopsin mutant

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Abstract

In this work, single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been chemically functionalized at their walls with a membrane protein, namely the mutated bacteriorhodopsin D96N, integrated in its native archaeal lipid membrane. The modification of the SWNT walls with the mutant has been carried out in different buffer solutions, at pH 5, 7.5 and 9, to investigate the anchoring process, the typical chemical and physical properties of the component materials being dependent on the pH. The SWNTs modified by interactions with bacteriorhodopsin membrane patches have been characterized by UV-vis steady state, Raman and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and by atomic force and transmission electron microscopy. The investigation shows that the membrane protein patches wrap the carbon walls by tight chemical interactions undergoing a conformational change; such chemical interactions increase the mechanical strength of the SWNTs and promote charge transfers which p-dope the nano-objects. The functionalization, as well as the SWNT doping, is favoured in acid and basic buffer conditions; such buffers make the nanotube walls more reactive, thus catalysing the anchoring of the membrane protein. The direct electron communication among the materials can be exploited for effectively interfacing the transport properties of carbon nanotubes with both molecular recognition capability and photoactivity of the cell membrane for sensing and photoconversion applications upon integration of the achieved hybrid materials in sensors or photovoltaic devices.

Graphical abstract: Surface chemical functionalization of single walled carbon nanotubes with a bacteriorhodopsin mutant

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
24 Jul 2012
Accepted
16 Aug 2012
First published
07 Sep 2012

Nanoscale, 2012,4, 6434-6441
Article type
Paper

Surface chemical functionalization of single walled carbon nanotubes with a bacteriorhodopsin mutant

C. Ingrosso, G. V. Bianco, P. Lopalco, M. Tamborra, M. L. Curri, A. Corcelli, G. Bruno, A. Agostiano, P. Siciliano and M. Striccoli, Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 6434
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR31999C

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