An investigation of the conductivity of peptide nanotube networks prepared by enzyme-triggered self-assembly

Xu, Haixia and Das, Apurba K. and Horie, Masaki and Shaik, Majeed S. and Smith, Andrew M. and Luo, Yi and Lu, Xiaofeng and Collins, Richard and Liem, Steven Y. and Song, Aimin and Popelier, Paul L. A. and Turner, Michael L. and Xiao, Ping and Kinloch, Ian A. and Ulijn, Rein V. (2010) An investigation of the conductivity of peptide nanotube networks prepared by enzyme-triggered self-assembly. Nanoscale, 2 (6). pp. 960-966. ISSN 2040-3372

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Abstract

We demonstrate that nanotubular networks formed by enzyme-triggered self-assembly of Fmoc-L-3 (9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl-tri-leucine) show significant charge transport. FT-IR, fluorescence spectroscopy and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) data confirm formation of beta-sheets that are locked together via pi-stacking interactions. Molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the pi-pi stacking distance between fluorenyl groups to be 3.6-3.8 angstrom. Impedance spectroscopy demonstrated that the nanotubular xerogel networks possess minimum sheet resistances of 0.1 M Omega/sq in air and 500 M Omega/sq in vacuum (pressure: 1.03 mbar) at room temperature, with the conductivity scaling linearly with the mass of peptide in the network. These materials may provide a platform to interface biological components with electronics.