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Self-assembly of discrete metal complexes in aqueous solution via block copolypeptide amphiphiles

  • Author(s): Kuroiwa, K
  • Masaki, Y
  • Koga, Y
  • Deming, TJ
  • et al.
Abstract

The integration of discrete metal complexes has been attracting significant interest due to the potential of these materials for soft metal-metal interactions and supramolecular assembly. Additionally, block copolypeptide amphiphiles have been investigated concerning their capacity for self-assembly into structures such as nanoparticles, nanosheets and nanofibers. In this study, we combined these two concepts by investigating the self-assembly of discrete metal complexes in aqueous solution using block copolypeptides. Normally, discrete metal complexes such as [Au(CN)2]-, when molecularly dispersed in water, cannot interact with one another. Our results demonstrated, however, that the addition of block copolypeptide amphiphiles such as K183L19 to [Au(CN)2]- solutions induced one-dimensional integration of the discrete metal complex, resulting in photoluminescence originating from multinuclear complexes with metal-metal interactions. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed a fibrous nanostructure with lengths and widths of approximately 100 and 20 nm, respectively, which grew to form advanced nanoarchitectures, including those resembling the weave patterns of Waraji (traditional Japanese straw sandals). This concept of combining block copolypeptide amphiphiles with discrete coordination compounds allows the design of flexible and functional supramolecular coordination systems in water. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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