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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Dec 15;109(49):23121-4.

Electrical behavior of molecular junctions incorporating alpha-helical peptide.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 1, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland.


We synthesized an alpha-helical peptide containing two terminal thiol groups and demonstrated the method of preparation of a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) on gold with uniform orientation of the molecules on the surface. The monolayers were employed as model systems for the investigations of mediated electron transfer. The measurements of electron transfer efficiency through the peptide were performed using scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS). The molecules were trapped between the gold tip and the substrate using a Au-S linkage. The electron transfer behavior of the peptide was examined as a function of the tip-substrate distance at fixed bias voltage and as a function of bias voltage at a fixed distance between the tip and the substrate. The data obtained from these experiments indicated that the electron transfer through alpha-helical peptide is very efficient, and its conductivity is comparable to those observed for dodecanedithiol. There is also a directional dependence of electron transmission through the peptide, which is connected with the electric field generated by the molecular dipole of the helix.

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