For the future, the researchers plan to use the bio-assisted, surface-mediated technique to produce nanoparticles from other metals. They also hope to combine different types of particles to create new optical and mechanical properties.
"If we combine gold-binding and silver-binding peptides, we can make composites that will include a mixture of gold and silver nanoparticles," said Kharlampieva. "Each particle will have its own properties, and combining them will create more interesting composite materials."
The researchers also hope to find additional applications for the films in such areas as photovoltaics, medical technology, and anti-microbial films that utilize the properties of silver nanoparticles.
Beyond Tsukruk and Kharlampieva, the research team has included Dmitry Zimnistky, Maneesh Gupta and Kathryn Bergman of Georgia Tech; David Kaplan of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University, and Rajesh Naik of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
"Nanomaterials grown under environmentally friendly conditions can be as good as synthetic materials that are produced under harsh conditions," Tsukruk added. "This technique allows us to grow very useful materials under natural conditions."
|Contact: John Toon|
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News