Hierarchical nanomaterials via biomolecular self-assembly and bioinspiration for energy and environmental applications
Bioinspired synthesis offers potential green strategies to build highly complex nanomaterials by utilizing the unique nanostructures, functions, and properties of biomolecules, in which the biomolecular recognition and self-assembly processes play important roles in tailoring the structures and functions of bioinspired materials. Further understanding of biomolecular self-assembly for inspiring the formation and assembly of nanoparticles would promote the design and fabrication of functional nanomaterials for various applications. In this review, we focus on recent advances in bioinspired synthesis and applications of hierarchical nanomaterials based on biomolecular self-assembly. We first discuss biomolecular self-assembly towards biological nanomaterials, in which the mechanisms and ways of biomolecular self-assembly as well as various self-assembled biomolecular nanostructures are demonstrated. Secondly, the bioinspired synthesis strategies including molecule–molecule interaction, molecule–material recognition, molecule-mediated nucleation and growth, and molecule-mediated reduction/oxidation are introduced and discussed. Meanwhile, typical examples and discussions on how biomolecular self-assembly inspires the formation of hierarchical hybrid nanomaterials are presented. Finally, the applications of bioinspired nanomaterials in biofuel cells, light-harvesting systems, batteries, supercapacitors, catalysis, water/air purification, and environmental monitoring are presented and discussed. We believe that this review will be very helpful for readers to understand the self-assembly of biomolecules and the biomimetic/bioinspired strategies for synthesizing hierarchical nanomaterials on the one hand, and on the other hand to design novel materials for extended applications in nanotechnology, materials science, analytical science, and biomedical engineering.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles