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Nanomechanics of Cation–π Interactions in Aqueous Solution

Authors

  • Dr. Qingye Lu,

    1. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2V4 (Canada)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Dongyeop X. Oh,

    1. POSTECH Ocean Science and Technology Institute, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, 790-784 (Korea)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Youngjin Lee,

    1. Department of Physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, 790-784 (Korea)
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  • Prof. Yongseok Jho,

    1. Department of Physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, 790-784 (Korea)
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  • Prof. Dong Soo Hwang,

    Corresponding author
    1. POSTECH Ocean Science and Technology Institute, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, 790-784 (Korea)
    • POSTECH Ocean Science and Technology Institute, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, 790-784 (Korea)
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  • Prof. Hongbo Zeng

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2V4 (Canada)
    • Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2V4 (Canada)
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  • The work was supported by an NSERC discovery grant award and an NSERC RTI grant award (for a surface forces apparatus) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (H.Z.), the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant (grant number NRF-C1ABA001-2011-0029960), and the Marine Biomaterials Research Center grant from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Korea (D.S.H.), and partially supported by a grant NRF-2012R1A1A2009275 and the Supercomputing Center/Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information with supercomputing resources including technical support (Y.S.J.).

Abstract

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The first direct probing of the nanomechanics of cation–π interactions in aqueous media was accomplished by using a surface forces apparatus with complementary theoretical simulations. The tetraethylammonium (TEA) ion breaks the adhesion between poly-L-tryptophan (PTrp) and poly-L-lysine (PLL) with a 100 times higher sensitivity relative to the K+ ion (PS=polystyrene, PTyr=poly-L-tyrosine, and ACh=acetylcholine).

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