While bio-inspired synthesis offers great potential for controlling nucleation and growth of inorganic particles, precisely tuning biomolecule-particle interactions is a long-standing challenge. Herein, we used variations in peptoid sequence to manipulate peptoid-Au interaction, leading to synthesis of concave five-fold twinned, five-pointed Au nanostars via a process of repeated particle attachment and facet stabilization. Ex situ and liquid-phase TEM observations show that a balance between particle attachment biased to occur near the star points, preferential growth along the  direction, and stabilization of (111) facets is critical to forming star-shaped particles. Molecular simulations predict that interaction strengths between peptoids and distinct Au facets differ significantly and thus can alter attachment kinetics and surface energies to form the stars. This work provides new insights into how sequence-defined ligands affect particle growth to regulate crystal morphology.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, physical science division, UNITED STATES.