Highly Efficient Fumed Silica Nanoparticles for Peptide Bond Formation: Converting Alanine to Alanine Anhydride

Chengchen Guo, Jacob S. Jordan, Jeffery Yarger, Gregory P. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In this work, thermal condensation of alanine adsorbed on fumed silica nanoparticles is investigated using thermal analysis and multiple spectroscopic techniques, including infrared (IR), Raman, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies. Thermal analysis shows that adsorbed alanine can undergo thermal condensation, forming peptide bonds within a short time period and at a lower temperature (∼170 °C) on fumed silica nanoparticle surfaces than that in bulk (∼210 °C). Spectroscopic results further show that alanine is converted to alanine anhydride with a yield of 98.8% during thermal condensation. After comparing peptide formation on solution-derived colloidal silica nanoparticles, it is found that fumed silica nanoparticles show much better efficiency and selectivity than solution-derived colloidal silica nanoparticles for synthesizing alanine anhydride. Furthermore, Raman spectroscopy provides evidence that the high efficiency for fumed silica nanoparticles is likely related to their unique surface features: the intrinsic high population of strained ring structures present at the surface. This work indicates the great potential of fumed silica nanoparticles in synthesizing peptides with high efficiency and selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17653-17661
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 24 2017


  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • adsorption
  • alanine
  • alanine anhydride
  • fumed silica nanoparticles
  • thermal transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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