Pyroelectric effect and polarization instability in self-assembled diphenylalanine microtubes

Esin A., BATURIN I., NIKITIN T., VASILEV S., Salehli F., SHUR V. Y., ...More

APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, vol.109, no.14, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 109 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1063/1.4962652
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The natural ability of peptides and proteins to self-assemble into elongated fibrils is associated with several neurogenerative diseases. Diphenylalanine (FF) tubular structures that have the same structural motif as in Ab-amyloid peptide (involved in Alzheimer's disease) are shown to possess remarkable physical properties ranging from piezoelectricity to electrochemical activities. In this work, we also discover a significant pyroelectric activity and measure the temperature dependence of the pyroelectric coefficient in the temperature range of 20-100 degrees C. Pyroelectric activity decreases with temperature contrary to most ferroelectric materials and significant relaxation of pyrocurrent is observed on cooling after heating above 50 degrees C. This unusual behavior is assigned to the temperature-induced disorder of water molecules inside the nanochannels. Pyroelectric coefficient and current and voltage figures of merit are estimated and future applications of pyroelectric peptide nanostructures in biomedical applications are outlined. Published by AIP Publishing.