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Nanobioplasmonic catalysts: a novel approach to controlling the selectivity in light-driven one-pot reactions

Grant number: 17/20892-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Susana Inés Córdoba de Torresi
Grantee:Heloise Ribeiro de Barros
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/26308-7 - Optimization of the physicochemical properties of nano -structured materials for applications in molecular recognition, catalysis and energy conversion/storage, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/09668-0 - Understanding the biophysiochemical interactions between plasmonic nanoparticles and enzymes to obtain bio-nanomaterials with controlled properties, BE.EP.PD


Even though plasmonic catalysis has a potential application to solve the limitations on heterogeneous catalysis and classic photocatalysis, the control of selectivity and activity of these transformations remain challenging. The association of nanocatalysts and biocatalysts remarkable properties can help to overcome such limitations and produce new functionalities. Therefore, the objective of this work is to build up a robust material with programmable properties by the stimulus of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) excitation in one-pot reactions systems. As a proof-of-concept example, gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) functionalized with enzymes will be used as a model bionanoplasmonics system. Under SPR excitation, the catalysis will be mainly driven by Au NPs whereas in absence of light the preferential catalysis will be mediated by enzymes. Nanobioplasmonic catalysts will be prepared with Au NPs and lipase enzyme (Au NPs@lipase) for the oxidation of aromatic nitro compounds with great industrial interest. Also, superoxide dismutase enzyme (Au NPs@SOD) will be employed in the catalysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) for bioapplications since the great influence on cell regulation processes. Therefore, the project will contribute to the development of new smart technologies to overcome limitations of selectivity and activity in catalytic processes, which is a great challenge in nanocatalysis field. Moreover, the nanobioplasmonic catalysts with dual catalytic function can range application areas even broader, emerging novel approaches designed for green chemistry, biocatalysis and nanocatalysis.