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Origins of Negative and Positive Electromechanical Response of Oligopeptide Piezoelectrics

preprint
submitted on 15.10.2019 and posted on 21.10.2019 by Ni Nyoman D. Gayatri, Geoffrey Hutchison
In response to an applied electric field, materials and even individual molecules can exhibit electromechanical response. Previous work has demonstrated the piezoelectric distortion of polar organic crystals, biomaterials, and even single molecular monolayers, increasing length in response to the change in potential energy of interaction between the polarization or dipole moment and the applied electric field. In this work, we demonstrate through density functional calculations that helical oligopeptides, depending on sequence can exhibit both positive and surprisingly also negative piezoresponse. While the overall molecular dipole moment may favor positive piezoresponse, individual hydrogen bonding interactions along the backbone have the opposite direction, enabling tailored sequences to yield either net expansion or contraction in response to an electric field. While negative piezoresponse has largely been considered in polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) and related systems, understanding the atomic and molecular basis for both electromechanical effects will yield interesting new applications.

Funding

National Science Foundation DMR-1608725

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

geoffh@pitt.edu

Institution

University of Pittsburgh

Country

United States

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-1757-1980

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest

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