The binding of peptides and proteins through multiple weak interactions is ubiquitous in nature. Biopanning has been used to “hijack” this multivalent binding for the functionalization of surfaces. For practical applications it is important to understand how multivalency influences the binding interactions and the resulting behaviour of the surface. Considering the importance of optimization of the electronic properties of surfaces in diverse electronic and optoelectronic applications, we study here the relation between the multivalency effect and the resulting modulation of the surface work function. We use 12-mer peptides, which were found to strongly bind to oxide surfaces, to functionalize indium tin oxide (ITO) surfaces. We show that the affinity of the peptides for the ITO surface, and concurrently the effect on the ITO work function, are linearly affected by the number of basic residues in the sequence. The multivalent binding interactions lead to a peptide crowding effect, and a stronger modulation of the work function for adodecapeptide than for a single basic amino acid functionalization. The bioderived molecular platform presented herein can pave the way to a novel approach to improve the performance of optoelectronic devices in an eco-friendly manner.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry