Solvent Directed Morphogenesis and Electrical Properties of a Peptide-Perylenediimide Conjugate

Sahnawaz Ahmed, Kandan Natarajan Amba Sankar, Bapan Pramanik, Kallol Mohanta, Debapratim Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Molecular organization of electron-deficient aromatic systems like perylenediimides (PDI) is extremely appealing, as they are potential candidates for organic electronics. The performance of these molecules in such applications primarily depends on the self-organization of the molecules. However, any correlation between the morphology of these self-assembled semiconducting molecules and their electrical performances has not yet been formulated. Herein, for the first time, we have made an effort to find such a correlation by studying the self-assembly, morphology, and their conducting properties for a peptide-PDI conjugate. The PDI conjugate formed fiber-like morphology in relatively nonpolar solvents (THF and CHCl3) while in more polar solvents (HFIP, MeOH, ACN, and acetone), spherical morphology could be found. Interestingly, the self-assembly and the morphologies showed a clear dependence on the solvent polarity. In polar solvents, the conjugate aggregates more efficiently than in the nonpolar solvents, and with decrease in solvent polarity, the dimension of the nanostructures increased. However, in all the tested solvents, irrespective of their polarity, the PDI-peptide conjugate adopts a right-handed helicity. To find a correlation between the morphologies with the conducting property, detailed electrical characterization of these nanostructures was carried out. While no significant change could be observed for the dc conductivities of these nanostructures, the ac conductivities show prominent difference at the low-frequency region. A dispersion of conductivity was observed for the nanospheres due to the polarization effect. A critical correlation between the nanostructures and the activation energy was observed as with decrease in radii of curvature of the aggregates the activation energy increases with an exception in the case of MeOH. The observed results suggest that the long-range transport of charge carriers is less favorable when the aggregates are small and closely packed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8355-8364
Number of pages10
Issue number28
StatePublished - 17 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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