Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Major

Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Mufit Akinc

Second Advisor

Surya K. Mallapragada

Abstract

Nature is replete with complex organic–inorganic hierarchical materials of diverse yet specific functions. These materials are intricately designed under physiological conditions through biomineralization and biological self-assembly processes. Tremendous efforts have been devoted to investigating mechanisms of such biomineralization and biological self-assembly processes as well as gaining inspiration to develop biomimetic methods for synthesis and self-assembly of functional nanomaterials. In this work, we focus on the bioinspired synthesis and self-assembly of functional inorganic nanomaterials templated by specialized macromolecules including proteins, DNA and polymers. The in vitro biomineralization process of the magnetite biomineralizing protein Mms6 has been investigated using small-angle X-ray scattering. Templated by Mms6, complex magnetic nanomaterials can be synthesized on surfaces and in the bulk. DNA and synthetic polymers have been exploited to construct macroscopic two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) superlattices of gold nanocrystals. Employing X-ray scattering and spectroscopy techniques, the self-assembled structures and the self-assembly mechanisms have been studied, and theoretical models have been developed. Our results show that specialized macromolecules including proteins, DNA and polymers act as effective templates for synthesis and self-assembly of nanomaterials. These bottom-up approaches provide promising routes to fabricate hybrid organic–inorganic nanomaterials with rationally designed hierarchical structures, targeting specific functions.

Copyright Owner

Honghu Zhang

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

213 pages

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