Two-dimensional honeycomb network through sequence-controlled self-assembly of oligopeptides
The sequence of a peptide programs its self-assembly and hence the expression of specific properties through non-covalent interactions. A large variety of peptide nanostructures has been designed employing different aspects of these non-covalent interactions, such as dispersive interactions, hydrogen bonding or ionic interactions. Here we demonstrate the sequence-controlled fabrication of molecular nanostructures using peptides as bio-organic building blocks for two-dimensional (2D) self-assembly. Scanning tunnelling microscopy reveals changes from compact or linear assemblies (angiotensin I) to long-range ordered, chiral honeycomb networks (angiotensin II) as a result of removal of steric hindrance by sequence modification. Guided by our observations, molecular dynamic simulations yield atomistic models for the elucidation of interpeptide-binding motifs. This new approach to 2D self-assembly on surfaces grants insight at the atomic level that will enable the use of oligo- and polypeptides as large, multi-functional bio-organic building blocks, and opens a new route towards rationally designed, bio-inspired surfaces.