Marc R. Knecht


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2004


Research in a Nugget

Brief description of research

Publications 2004-Present

Link to our laboratory website: Knecht Group

Research in a Nugget

Brief description of research 

Research in the Knecht Group focuses on the use of biological macromolecules to construct nanomaterials for specifically targeted applications. These applications include catalysis, self-assembly, detection, and materials design. We use a wide variety of biological, chemical, and material synthetic strategies to design and engineer specific functionalities into our materials that can be exploited for desired processes. The ultimate goal of our research is to understand the relationship between the material and its function through structure-function analyses.

Publications 2004-Present


Coppage, R.; Slocik, J.M.; Briggs, B.D.; Frenkel, A.I.; Heinz, H.; Naik, R.R.; Knecht, M.R. Crystallographic Recognition Controls Peptide Binding for Bio-based NanomaterialsJ. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011133, 12346-12349.

Sethi, M.; Law, W.-C.; Fennell, W.A., III; Prasad, P.N.; Knecht, M.R. Employing Materials Assembly to Elucidate Surface Interactions of Amino Acids with Au NanoparticlesSoft Matter 20117, 6532-6541.

Pacardo, D.B.; Slocik, J.M.; Kirk, K.C.; Naik, R.R.; Knecht, M.R. Interrogating the Catalytic Mechanism of C-C Coupling Reactions Employing Bio-Inspired Pd Nanoparticle CatalystsNanoscale 20113, 2194-2201.

Bhandari, R.; Knecht, M.R. Effects of the Material Structure on the Catalytic Activity of Peptide-Templated Pd NanomaterialsACS Catal. 20111, 89-98. (Featured on the cover of the February 2011 issue.  This work was also listed as a top 20 most read article in ACS Catal. for January 2011.)


Pickin, K.A.; Ezenwajiaku, N.; Overcash, H.; Sethi, M.; Knecht, M.R.; Paumi, C.M.Suppression of YCF1P Function by CKA1P-Dependent Phosphorylation is Attenuated in Response to Salt StressFEMS Yeast Res. 201010, 839-857.

Sethi, M.; Pacardo, D.B.; Knecht, M.R. Biological Surface Effects of Metallic Nanomaterials for Applications in Assembly and CatalysisLangmuir 201026, 15121-15134. (Invited feature article – Featured on the cover of the October 5, 2010 issue.)

Sethi, M.; Knecht, M.R. Understanding the Mechanism of Amino Acid-Based Au Nanoparticle Chain FormationLangmuir 201026, 9860-9874. (This work was also listed as a top 20 most read article in Langmuir for April 2010.)

Coppage, R.; Slocik, J.M.; Sethi, M.; Pacardo, D.B.; Naik, R.R.; Knecht, M.R.Elucidation of Peptide Effects that Control the Activity of NanoparticlesAngew. Chem., Int. Ed. 201049, 3767-3770.

Knecht, M.R.; Pacardo, D.B. Employing High-Resolution Materials Characterization to Understand the Effects of Pd Nanoparticle Structure on their Activity as Catalysts for Olefin HydrogenationAnal. Bioanal. Chem. 2010, 397, 1137-1155.

Jakhmola, A.; Bhandari, R.; Pacardo, D.B.; Knecht, M.R. Peptide Template Effects for the Synthesis and Catalytic Application of Pd Nanoparticle NetworksJ. Mater. Chem. 201020, 1522-1531.


Sethi, M.; Knecht, M.R. Experimental Studies on the Interactions between Au Nanoparticles and Amino Acids:  Bio-Based Formation of Branched Linear StructuresACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 20091, 1270-1278. (This work was also listed as a top 20 most read article in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces for June 2009.)

Pacardo, D.B.; Sethi, M.; Jones, S.E.; Naik, R.R.; Knecht, M.R. Biomimetic Synthesis of Pd Nanocatalysts for the Stille Coupling Reaction, ACS Nano 20093, 1288-1296.

Chopra, N.; Bachas, L.G.; Knecht, M.R. Fabrication and Biofunctionalization of Carbon-Encapsulated Au NanoparticlesChem. Mater. 200921, 1176-1178.  A summary of this work was featured on the NanoWerk website (posted on April 28, 2009;  This work was also listed as a top 20 most read article in Chem. Mater. for April 2009.)

Knecht, M.R.; Sethi, M. Bio-Inspired Colorimetric Detection of Hg2+ and Pb2+ Heavy Metal Ions Using Au NanoparticlesAnal. Bioanal. Chem. 2009394, 33-46.

Sethi, M.; Joung, G.; Knecht, M.R. Linear Assembly of Au Nanorods Using Biomimetic LigandsLangmuir 200925, 1572-1581.

Sethi, M.; Joung, G.; Knecht, M.R. Stability and Electrostatic Assembly of Au Nanorods for use in Biological AssaysLangmuir 200925, 317-325.

Weir, M.G.; Knecht, M.R.; Frenkel, A.I.; Crooks, R.M. Structural Analysis of PdAu Dendrimer-Encapsulated NanoparticlesLangmuir201026, 1137-1146.

Carino, E.V.; Knecht, M.R.; Crooks, R.M. Quantitative Analysis of the Stability of Pd Dendrimer-Encapsulated NanoparticlesLangmuir200925, 10279-10284.


Knecht, M.R.; Weir, M.G.; Myers, V.S.; Pyrz, W.D.; Ye, H.; Petkov, V.; Buttrey, D.J.; Frenkel, A.I.; Crooks, R.M. Synthesis and Characterization of Pt Dendrimer-Encapsulated Nanoparticles:  Effect of the Template Upon Nanoparticle Formation,Chem. Mater. 200820, 5218-5228.

Petkov, V.; Bedford, N.; Knecht, M.R.; Weir, M.G.; Crooks, R.M.; Tang, W.; Henkelman, G.; Frenkel, A.I. Periodicity and Atomic Ordering in Nanosized Particles of CrystalsJ. Phys. Chem. C 2008, 112, 8907-8911.

Knecht, M.R.; Weir, M.G.; Frenkel, A.I.; Crooks, R.M. Structural Rearrangement of Bimetallic Alloy PdAu Nanoparticles within Dendrimer Templates to Yield Core/Shell ConfigurationsChem. Mater. 200820, 1019-1028.


Knecht, M.R.; Crooks, R.M. Magnetic Properties of Dendrimer-Encapsulated Iron Nanoparticles Containing an Average of 55 and 147 Atoms, New J. Chem. 2007,31, 1349-1353.


Knecht, M.R.; Garcia-Martinez, J.C.; Crooks, R.M. Synthesis, Characterization, and Magnetic Properties of Dendrimer-Encapsulated Nickel Nanoparticles Containing <150 AtomsChem. Mater. 200618, 5039-5044.

Wilson, O.M.; Knecht, M.R.; Garcia-Martinez, J.C.; Crooks, R.M.  The Effect of Pd Nanoparticle Size on the Catalytic Hydrogenation of Allyl AlcoholJ. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 4510-4511.  A summary of this paper was featured in Science2006311, 1837.


Knecht, M.R.; Garcia-Martinez, J.C.; Crooks, R.M.  Hydrophobic Dendrimers as Templates for Au NanoparticlesLangmuir 200521, 11981-11986.

Knecht, M.R.; Sewell, S.L.; Wright, D.W. Size Control of Dendrimer-Templated SilicaLangmuir 200521, 2058-2061.


Knecht, M.R.; Wright, D.W. Dendrimer Mediated Formation of Multicomponent NanospheresChem. Mater. 2004, 16, 4890-4895.

Knecht, M.R.; Wright, D.W. Amine-Terminated Dendrimers as Biomimetic Templates for Silica Nanosphere FormationLangmuir 200420, 4728-4732.