Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Chemistry (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Marc R. Knecht

Second Committee Member

Francisco M. Raymo

Third Committee Member

Norito Takenaka

Fourth Committee Member

Sung Jin Kim


The biomimetic synthesis of Pd nanoparticles was presented using the Pd4 peptide, TSNAVHPTLRHL, isolated from combinatorial phage display library. Using this approach, nearly monodisperse and spherical Pd nanoparticles were generated with an average diameter of 1.9 ± 0.4 nm. The peptide-based nanocatalyst were employed in the Stille coupling reaction under energy-efficient and environmentally friendly reaction conditions of aqueous solvent, room temperature and very low catalyst loading. To this end, the Pd nanocatalyst generated high turnover frequency (TOF) value and quantitative yields using ≥ 0.005 mol% Pd as well as catalytic activities with different aryl halides containing electron-withdrawing and electron-donating groups. The Pd4-capped Pd nanoparticles followed the atom-leaching mechanism and were found to be selective with respect to substrate identity. On the other hand, the naturally-occurring R5 peptide (SSKKSGSYSGSKGSKRRIL) was employed in the synthesis of biotemplated Pd nanomaterials which showed morphological changes as a function of Pd:peptide ratio. TOF analysis for hydrogenation of olefinic alcohols showed similar catalytic activity regardless of nanomorphology. Determination of catalytic properties of these bio-inspired nanomaterials are important as they serve as model system for alternative green catalyst with applications in industrially important transformations.


bio-inspired nanomaterials; Pd nanoparticles; catalysis; Stille coupling; atom-leaching mechanism; hydrogenation