Conjugates comprising a semiconducting dye (Thiophene-diketopyrrolopyrrole, TDPP-dye) attached to a self-assembling peptide (HEFISTAH) assemble into long nanofibers. Well-ordered Langmuir-Blodgett films of these materials can be prepared. Networks of these nanofibres can be deposited to bridge electrodes. Although similar systems have been proposed as organic semiconductors, in this case, no electronic conductivity was observed. Instead, the fibres behaved as ionic (probably proton) conductors as a consequence of adsorbed water. A strong dependence of electrical conductivity on relative humidity and fibre network density was demonstrated. The system of nanofibers bridging gold electrodes behaved as an electrolytic cell, with oxygen reduction as a limiting electrode reaction.
Electrical conductivity of Self-assembling Peptide-semiconducting dye Conjugate nanofibre networks