Transparent, conductive, and SERS-active Au nanofiber films assembled on an amphiphilic peptide template
The use of biological materials as templates for functional molecular assemblies is an active research field at the interface between chemistry, biology, and materials science. We demonstrate the formation of gold nanofiber films on β-sheet peptide domains assembled at the air/water interface. The gold deposition scheme employed a recently discovered chemical process involving spontaneous crystallization and reduction of water-soluble Au(SCN)41− upon anchoring to surface-displayed amine moieties. Here we show that an interlinked network of crystalline Au nanofibers is readily formed upon incubation of the Au(III) thiocyanate complex with the peptide monolayers. Intriguingly, the resultant films were optically transparent, enabled electrical conductivity, and displayed pronounced surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) activity, making the approach a promising avenue for construction of nano-structured films exhibiting practical applications.