Protein-directed crystalline 2D fullerene assemblies†
Water soluble 2D crystalline monolayers of fullerenes grow on planar assemblies of engineered consensus tetratricopeptide repeat proteins. Designed fullerene-coordinating tyrosine clamps on the protein introduce specific fullerene binding sites, which facilitate fullerene nucleation. Through reciprocal interactions between the components, the hybrid material assembles into two-dimensional 2 nm thick structures with crystalline order, that conduct photo-generated charges. Thus, the protein–fullerene hybrid material is a demonstration of the developments toward functional materials with protein-based precision control of functional elements.