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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Aug 29;134(34):13974-7. doi: 10.1021/ja306884e. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Urease-mediated room-temperature synthesis of nanocrystalline titanium dioxide.

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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


Enzymes are an important class of biological molecules whose specific functionalities can be exploited to perform tasks beyond the reach of conventional chemistry. Because they are operational under environmentally friendly, ambient conditions, the adaptation of these biomacromolecules can potentially be used to replace current energy-intensive and environmentally harsh synthesis methods for materials. Here we used a hydrolytic enzyme, urease, to modify the solution environment around a water-soluble and stable TiO(2) precursor to synthesize nanocrystalline titanium dioxide under environmentally benign conditions. This urease-mediated synthesis yields nearly monodisperse TiO(2) nanostructures with high surface area that can be utilized for numerous energy-based applications such as low-cost photovoltaics and photocatalysts.

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