Encapsulation of carbon nanotubes by self-assembling peptide amphiphiles

Michael S. Arnold, Mustafa O. Guler, Mark Hersam, Samuel Stupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


We demonstrate the dispersion and noncovalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes in water using peptide amphiphiles each consisting of a short hydrophobic alkyl tail coupled to a more hydrophilic peptide sequence. The assembly of peptide amphiphile molecules on the surfaces of carbon nanotubes adds biofunctionality to these one-dimensional conductors and simultaneously eliminates the hydrophobic nanotube-water interface, thus dispersing them in the aqueous medium. This should occur without the degradation of their structural, electronic, and optical properties caused by covalent functionalization and without the need for specific peptide sequences designed to bind with nanotube surfaces. The encapsulation by peptide amphiphiles is confirmed using transmission electron microscopy and optical absorbance spectroscopy and may have significant future applications in biosensing or medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4705-4709
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 10 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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