Energy Landscape of Relaxation and Interaction of an Amino Acid, Glutamine (L), on Pristine and Au/Ag/Cu-Doped TiO 2 Surfaces
Studying the interaction of inorganic systems with organic ones is a highly important avenue for finding new drugs and treatment methods. Tumor cells show an increased demand for amino acids due to their rapid proliferation; thus, targeting their metabolism is becoming a potential oncological therapeutic strategy. One of the inorganic materials that show antitumor properties is titanium dioxide, while its doping was found to enhance interactions with biological systems. Thus, in this study, we investigated the energy landscape of glutamine (L), an amino acid, on pristine and doped TiO 2 surfaces. We first locally optimized 2D-slab structures of pristine and Au/Ag/Cu-doped anatase (001 and 101 surfaces) and similarly optimized a single molecule of glutamine in vacuum. Next, we placed the pre-optimized glutamine molecule in various orientations and on a variety of locations onto the relaxed substrate surfaces (in vacuum) and performed ab initio relaxations of the molecule on the substrate slabs. We employed the DFT method with a GGA-PBE functional implemented in the Quantum Espresso code. Comparisons of the optimized conformations and electronic structures of the amino acid in vacuum and on the surfaces yield useful insights into various biological processes.