American Chemical Society
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Electronic Transport via Homopeptides: The Role of Side Chains and Secondary Structure

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posted on 2015-08-05, 00:00 authored by Lior Sepunaru, Sivan Refaely-Abramson, Robert Lovrinčić, Yulian Gavrilov, Piyush Agrawal, Yaakov Levy, Leeor Kronik, Israel Pecht, Mordechai Sheves, David Cahen
Many novel applications in bioelectronics rely on the interaction between biomolecules and electronically conducting substrates. However, crucial knowledge about the relation between electronic transport via peptides and their amino-acid composition is still absent. Here, we report results of electronic transport measurements via several homopeptides as a function of their structural properties and temperature. We demonstrate that the conduction through the peptide depends on its length and secondary structure as well as on the nature of the constituent amino acid and charge of its residue. We support our experimental observations with high-level electronic structure calculations and suggest off-resonance tunneling as the dominant conduction mechanism via extended peptides. Our findings indicate that both peptide composition and structure can affect the efficiency of electronic transport across peptides.