Electronics made from biological materials are desirable for use in medical devices, biosensors, and soft robotics because they have properties inaccessible to current inorganic technologies. Here, a series of cationic peptides were developed to self-assemble with the anionic porphyrin meso-tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphine (TPPS4) into supramolecular light-harvesting wires known as J-aggregates were developed. In addition to quantifying the binding events between each peptide and TPPS4, we found co-incubation with mixed peptides allowed TPPS4 to bridge two different peptides at their terminal porphyrin-binding regions. The J-aggregates formed on macroscopic scale in near quantitative yield within ~3 h and readily interconverted with the soluble monomers upon cycling the pH; to our knowledge, this is the first report of a peptide-porphyrin system with such properties. This work has practical and conceptual relevance to the development of new bioelectronic materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry