Nanoscale assembly of nanowires templated by microtubules

Jing Zhou, Tzy Jiun Mark Luo, Yan Gao, Mei Xue, Joseph Lau, Toshikazu Hamasaki, Evelyn Hu, Kang Wang, Bruce Dunn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Conventional top-down lithographic processes approach their practical and theoretical limits at dimensional scales less than 100 nm. Alternative bottom-up methods are being investigated to build nanoscale architectures, including the use of biomolecules whose functional groups bind inorganic particles. In this study, the fabrication and alignment of microtubule-based nanowires are investigated. Microtubules (MT) are fibrous proteins found in nearly all eukaryotes. Our work was carried out using polymerized alpha- and beta-tubulins, which were cross-linked with glutaraldehyde to stabilize the protein structure. Ni coated microtubules were fabricated by reducing Ni2+ to Ni 0 on Pd activated microtubule surface. Focus Ion Beam was used to write metal contacts on these Ni microtubule nanowires and DC conductivity values were measured. Au deposition on MT was performed by both electroless deposition and electrodeposition, by reducing HAuCl4 onto MT prebound with 2 nm Au colloids. Although most MTs exhibited discontinuous Au binding, a fraction of MTs were covered completely by Au. Preliminary electrical measurements for these materials are reported. Alignment of microtubules was also achieved by injecting MTs into microfluidic devices over amine-coated substrate surfaces. These biotemplating approaches are the first steps towards constructing more complicated 2D and 3D architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssembly at the Nanoscale
Subtitle of host publicationToward Functional Nanostructured Materials
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1558998551, 9781558998551
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event2005 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 2005 Nov 282005 Dec 2

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Conference2005 MRS Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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