Characterization of silica-coated tobacco mosaic virus

Elizabeth Royston, Sang Yup Lee, James N. Culver, Michael T. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The deposition of silica on the surface of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is achieved at a higher pH (>7) as a means to enhance its usefulness as a template for the synthesis of nanostructures. Electron energy loss spectroscopy definitively shows the presence of a silica shell on the surface of the TMV while small angle X-ray scattering differentiates successfully between silica-coated TMV and silica particles in the presence of uncoated TMV. Importantly, coating reactions done in a 50% w/v methanol/water solution produce smaller silica nanostructures during the condensation of the hydrolysis intermediates, possibly aiding in obtaining uniform coating. Furthermore, TMV-templated silica coatings are found to enhance the stability of the virus particle in methanol at conditions that would ordinarily disrupt the assembled particle. Combined these findings demonstrate that TMV can function as an efficient template for the controlled deposition of silica at neutral pH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-712
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DEFG02-02-ER45975 and DEFG02-02-ER45976). TEM work is done in the Life Science Microscopy Facility, Purdue University. EELS analysis is carried out in the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, University of Illinois, which is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant DEFG02-91-ER45439. Special thanks go to Dr. Ray D. Twesten for his assistance in collecting the EELS data. SAXS studies are supported by the NSF funded (MRI program award 0321118-CTS) facility for in situ X-ray scattering from nanomaterials and catalysts, Purdue University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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