In natural systems, electron flow is mediated by proteins that spatially organize donor and acceptor molecules with great precision. Achieving this guided, directional flow of information is a desirable feature in photovoltaic media. Here, we design self-assembled peptide materials that organize multiple electronic components capable of performing photoinduced charge separation. Two peptides, c16-AHL3K3-CO2H and c16-AHL 3K9-CO2H, self-assemble into fibres and provide a scaffold capable of binding a metalloporphyrin via histidine axial ligation and mineralize titanium dioxide (TiO2) on the lysine-rich surface of the resulting fibrous structures. Electron paramagnetic resonance studies of this self-assembled material under continuous light excitation demonstrate charge separation induced by excitation of the metalloporphyrin and mediated by the peptide assembly structure. This approach to dye-sensitized semiconducting materials offers a means to spatially control the dye molecule with respect to the semiconducting material through careful, strategic peptide design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)