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Hierarchical self-assembly of peptide-coated carbon nanotubes
journal contributionposted on 2004-12-01, 00:00 authored by A B Dalton, A Ortiz-Acevedo, V Zorbas, E Brunner, W M Sampson, S Collins, Joselito RazalJoselito Razal, M Miki-Yoshida, R H Baughman, R K Draper, I H Musselman, M Jose-Yacaman, G R Dieckmann
Numerous applications, from molecular electronics to super-strong composite, have been suggested for carbon nanotubes. Despite this promise, difficulty in assembling raw carbon nanotubes into functional structures is a deterrent for applications. In contrast, biological materials have evolved to self-assemble, and the lessons of their self-assembly can be applied to synthetic materials such as carbon nanotubes. Here we show that single-walled carbon nanotubes, coated with a designed amphiphilic peptide, can be assembled into ordered hierarchical structures. This novel methodology offers a new route for controlling the physical properties of nanotube systems at all length scales from the nano- to the macroscale. Moreover, this technique is not limited to assembling carbon nanotubes, and could be modified to serve as a general procedure for controllably assembling other nanostructures into functional materials.