Biomineralization in general is based on electrostatic interactions and molecular recognition of organic and inorganic phases. These principles of biomineralization have also been utilized and transferred to bio-inspired synthesis of functional materials during the past decades. Proteins involved in both, biomineralization and bio-inspired processes, are often piezoelectric due to their dipolar character hinting to the impact of a template's piezoelectricity on mineralization processes. However, the piezoelectric contribution on the mineralization process and especially the interaction of organic and inorganic phases is hardly considered so far. We herein report the successful use of the intrinsic piezoelectric properties of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) to synthesize piezoelectric ZnO. Such films show a two-fold increase of the piezoelectric coefficient up to 7.2 pm V-1 compared to films synthesized on non-piezoelectric templates. By utilizing the intrinsic piezoelectricity of a biotemplate, we thus established a novel synthesis pathway towards functional materials, which sheds light on the whole field of biomimetics. The obtained results are of even broader and general interest since they are providing a new, more comprehensive insight into the mechanisms involved into biomineralization in living nature.
|Publication status||Published - 23 May 2016|