Electronic structure of dipeptides in the gas-phase and as an adsorbed monolayer

Cunlan Guo, Soumyajit Sarkar, Sivan Refaely-Abramson, David A. Egger, Tatyana Bendikov, Keiichirou Yonezawa, Yosuke Suda, Takuma Yamaguchi, Israel Pecht, Satoshi Kera, Nobuo Ueno, Mordechai Sheves, Leeor Kronik, David Cahen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Peptide-based molecular electronic devices are promising due to the large diversity and unique electronic properties of biomolecules. These electronic properties can change considerably with peptide structure, allowing diverse design possibilities. In this work, we explore the effect of the side-chain of the peptide on its electronic properties, by using both experimental and computational tools to detect the electronic energy levels of two model peptides. The peptides include 2Ala and 2Trp as well as their 3-mercaptopropionic acid linker which is used to form monolayers on an Au surface. Specifically, we compare experimental ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy measurements with density functional theory based computational results. By analyzing differences in frontier energy levels and molecular orbitals between peptides in gas-phase and in a monolayer on gold, we find that the electronic properties of the peptide side-chain are maintained during binding of the peptide to the gold substrate. This indicates that the energy barrier for the peptide electron transport can be tuned by the amino acid compositions, which suggests a route for structural design of peptide-based electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6860-6867
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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DC and LK thank the Israel Science Foundation through its Centers of Excellence program, DC thanks the Nancy and Stephen Grand Center for Sensors and security. DC and MS thank the Israel Science Foundation and the Minerva Foundation (Munich). MS thanks the Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly, and the Jonathan Beare and Estate of George Hecht for partial support. LK acknowledges support from the European Research Council. SK acknowledges support from JSPS KAKENHI (no. 26248062, 23360005). SRA acknowledges an Adams Fellowship of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. SS acknowledges the Koshland Foundation and support from a McDonald-Leapman grant. DAE acknowledges support by the Koshland Foundation and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): J3608-N20. DC thanks Chiba University for a visiting professorship. This research was made possible in part by the historic generosity of the Harold Perlman family. This joint work was partly supported by the Global-COE Program of MEXT (G03), Advanced School for Organic Electronics, operated at Chiba University. MS holds the Katzir-Makineni Professorial Chair in Chemistry; DC held the Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer Professorial Chair in Energy Research.

FundersFunder number
Koshland Foundation
School for Organic Electronics
Sylvia Schaefer Professorial Chair in Energy Research
Sugar Research Australia
European Research Council
Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India
Minerva Foundation
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science23360005, 26248062
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Austrian Science Fund
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Israel Science Foundation
Chiba University


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