Early-Stage Aggregation and Crystalline Interactions of Peptoid Nanomembranes

Joshua A. Hammons, Marcel D. Baer, Tengyue Jian, Jonathan R.I. Lee, Thomas M. Weiss, James J. De Yoreo, Aleksandr Noy, Chun Long Chen, Anthony Van Buuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fully synthetic peptoid membranes are known to mimic important features of biological membranes, with several advantages over other biomimetic membranes. A fundamental understanding of how the individual peptoid amphiphiles assemble in solution to form the bilayer membrane is key to unlocking their versatility for application in a broad range of processes. In this study, in situ X-ray scattering and molecular dynamics simulations are used to understand the early stages of assembly of three different peptoids that exhibit distinctly different crystallization kinetics. The in situ measurements reveal that the peptoids aggregate first into a nascent phase that is less crystalline than the assembled peptoid membrane. Anisotropic aromatic interactions are determined to be the dominant driving force in the early stages of membrane formation. These results provide key insights into how the peptoid assembly may be manipulated during the early stages of assembly and nucleation and growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6126-6133
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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