Bioinspired Stable and Photoluminescent Assemblies for Power Generation

Kai Tao, Wen Hu, Bin Xue, Drahomir Chovan, Noam Brown, Linda J.W. Shimon, Oguzhan Maraba, Yi Cao, Syed A.M. Tofail, Damien Thompson, Junbai Li, Rusen Yang, Ehud Gazit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peptide assemblies are ideal components for eco-friendly optoelectronic energy harvesting devices due to their intrinsic biocompatibility, ease of fabrication, and flexible functionalization. However, to date, their practical applications have been limited due to the difficulty in obtaining stable, high-performance devices. Here, it is shown that the tryptophan-based simplest peptide cyclo-glycine-tryptophan (cyclo-GW) forms mechanically robust (elastic modulus up to 24.0 GPa) and thermally stable up to 370 °C monoclinic crystals, due to a supramolecular packing combining dense parallel β-sheet hydrogen bonding and herringbone edge-to-face aromatic interactions. The directional and extensive driving forces further confer unique optical properties, including aggregation-induced blue emission and unusual stable photoluminescence. Moreover, the crystals produce a high and sustained open-circuit voltage (1.2 V) due to a high piezoelectric coefficient of 14.1 pC N −1 . These findings demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing self-assembling peptides for fabrication of biointegrated microdevices that combine high structural stability, tailored optoelectronics, and significant energy harvesting properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1807481
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2019


  • crystallization
  • cyclo-dipeptides
  • mechanics
  • photoluminescence
  • piezoelectricity


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