Mineralized biological materials such as shells, skeleton, and teeth experience biomineralization. Biomimetic materials exploit the biomineralization process to form functional organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructures. In this work, we mimicked the biomineralization process by the de novo design of an amyloid-like peptide that self-assembles into nanofibers. Chemically active groups enhancing the affinity for metal ions were used to accumulate silicon and titanium precursors on the organic template. The self-assembly process and template effect were characterized by CD, FT-IR, UV-vis, fluorescence, rheology, TGA, SEM, and TEM. The self-assembled organic nanostructures were exploited as a template to form high-aspect-ratio 1-D silica and titania nanostructures by the addition of appropriate precursors. Herein, a new bottom-up approach was demonstrated to form silica and titania nanostructures that can yield wide opportunities to produce high-aspect-ratio inorganic nanostructures with high surface areas. The materials developed in this work have vast potential in the fields of catalysis and electronic materials.
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