New 4-armed star poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate) decorated with cyanoferrate complex (PBLG-Fe) was successfully synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of γ-benzyl-L-glutamate, followed by a post-functionalization procedure. We demonstrated for the first time that incorporation of metal complex into PBLG induced hexagonally stacked PBLG to disassemble, affording water swelling nano-helices, as confirmed by FT-IR, CD, XRD and TEM. PBLG-Fe nano-helices were electrochemically active. Interestingly, the apparent electron diffusion coefficient (Dm) of PBLG-Fe was dependent on the molecular weight of PBLG-Fe. Maximum Dm was achieved for PBLG-Fe with moderate molecular weight. Such metal coordinated polypeptides offer a new opportunity for the synthesis of highly anisotropic functional nanomaterials with potential applications in nano-devices.
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