Term of Award

Summer 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physical Science (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Dr. Beverly Penland

Committee Member 1

Dr. Garry Guillet

Committee Member 2

Dr. Mitch Weiland


Rational design of active and stable palladium nanoparticles using peptide is emerging field in nanomaterial technology. Nanoparticles are preferred as catalysts compared to their bulk counter-parts due to their large surface area-to-volume ratio making them more reactive. The use of peptide to facilitate the formation and stabilization of the inorganic nanoparticles such as palladium is desirable due to their less toxic nature, and desired products formed after the completion of the reaction. In addition, peptide is known to impart high level of control over size and shape in nanoparticles. In this work, peptide-driven fabrication of catalytically stable and reactive palladium was conducted in organic solvents and used in Heck reaction catalysis of iodobenzene and butyl acrylate to form butyl cinnamate. The use of a peptide ligands contrasts with the traditional toxic bulky phosphine ligands, which are conventionally used to stabilize and solubilize bulky palladium metal catalyst. The optimum temperature for maximum yield of butyl cinnamate was investigated in series of reactions set up from 25 to 80 °C with other reaction parameters kept constant. Heck coupling reaction is industrially important in synthesis of various pharmaceuticals We successfully conducted, characterized, and quantified the Heck coupling reaction in ethanol and DMSO at 80 °C using palladium-capped peptide nanoparticles and triethyl amine base. Different engineered and control peptides were used to fabricate palladium nanoparticles formation and for enhancing their colloidal and stability during the Heck reaction. The peptides used were engineered from the control Pd4 (TSNAVHPTLRHL) peptide, which is known to specifically bind palladium metal via the histidines at positions six and eleven. The S2 (AFILPTG) peptide, which is specific to silica, was attached at either ends of the Pd4 peptide to form S2Pd4, Pd4S2, and S2Pd4S2. The engineered peptide-capped palladium nanoparticles were investigated for their colloidal stability and catalytic activity.

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Research Data and Supplementary Material