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Keywords:

  • peptide nanotubes;
  • vapor deposition technology;
  • quantum confinement;
  • optical absorption and photoluminescence;
  • asymmetric structure;
  • piezoresponse force microscopy and piezoelectric effect;
  • second harmonic generation;
  • wettability;
  • supercapacitors

Abstract

Synthetic peptide monomers can self-assemble into PNM such as nanotubes, nanospheres, hydrogels, etc. which represent a novel class of nanomaterials. Molecular recognition processes lead to the formation of supramolecular PNM ensembles containing crystalline building blocks. Such low-dimensional highly ordered regions create a new physical situation and provide unique physical properties based on electron-hole QC phenomena. In the case of asymmetrical crystalline structure, basic physical phenomena such as linear electro-optic, piezoelectric, and nonlinear optical effects, described by tensors of the odd rank, should be explored. Some of the PNM crystalline structures permit the existence of spontaneous electrical polarization and observation of ferroelectricity. The PNM crystalline arrangement creates highly porous nanotubes when various residues are packed into structural network with specific wettability and electrochemical properties.

We report in this review on a wide research of PNM intrinsic physical properties, their electronic and optical properties related to QC effect, unique SHG, piezoelectricity and ferroelectric spontaneous polarization observed in PNT due to their asymmetric structure. We also describe PNM wettability phenomenon based on their nanoporous structure and its influence on electrochemical properties in PNM.

The new bottom-up large scale technology of PNT physical vapor deposition and patterning combined with found physical effects at nanoscale, developed by us, opens the avenue for emerging nanotechnology applications of PNM in novel fields of nanophotonics, nanopiezotronics and energy storage devices. Copyright © 2010 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.