Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Chiral nanoparticle assemblies are an interesting class of materials whose chiroptical properties make them attractive for a variety of applications. Here, C18-(PEPAuM-ox)2 (PEPAuM-ox = AYSSGAPPMoxPPF) is shown to direct the assembly of single-helical gold nanoparticle superstructures that exhibit exceptionally strong chiroptical activity at the plasmon frequency with absolute g-factor values up to 0.04. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET) results indicate that the single helices have a periodic pitch of approximately 100 nm and consist of oblong gold nanoparticles. The morphology and assembled structure of C18-(PEPAuM-ox)2 are studied using TEM, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) spectroscopy. TEM and AFM reveal that C18-(PEPAuM-ox)2 assembles into linear amyloid-like 1D helical ribbons having structural parameters that correlate to those of the single-helical gold nanoparticle superstructures. FTIR, CD, XRD, and ssNMR indicate the presence of cross-β and polyproline II secondary structures. A molecular assembly model is presented that takes into account all experimental observations and that supports the single-helical nanoparticle assembly architecture. This model provides the basis for the design of future nanoparticle assemblies having programmable structures and properties.


Journal article


Journal of the American Chemical Society

Publication Date



Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh , 219 Parkman Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, United States.