Abstract

A class of peptides from the bombolitin family, not previously identified for nitroaromatic recognition, allows near-infrared fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes to transduce specific changes in their conformation. In response to the binding of specific nitroaromatic species, such peptide-nanotube complexes form a virtual "chaperone sensor," which reports modulation of the peptide secondary structure via changes in single-walled carbon nanotubes, near-infrared photoluminescence. A split-channel microscope constructed to image quantized spectral wavelength shifts in real time, in response to nitroaromatic adsorption, results in the first single-nanotube imaging of solvatochromic events. The described indirect detection mechanism, as well as an additional exciton quenching-based optical nitroaromatic detection method, illustrate that functionalization of the carbon nanotube surface can result in completely unique sites for recognition, resolvable at the single-molecule level.[on SciFinder (R)]

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