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Pyroelectric effect and polarization instability in self-assembled diphenylalanine microtubes
A. Nuraeva, S. Vasilev, D. Vasileva, P. Zelenovskiy, D. Chezganov, A. Esin, S. Kopyl, K. Romanyuk, V. Ya. Shur, and A. L. Kholkin, Cryst. Growth Des. 16, 1472 (2016).
S. Kopyl, private communication (2016).
A. Heredia, I. Bdikin, S. Kopyl, E. Mishina, S. Semin, A. Sigov, K. German, V. Bystrov, and A. L. Kholkin, J. Phys. D 43, 462001 (2010).
R. P. Lopes and A. L. Kholkin, in Energy Harvesting with Piezoelectric and Pyroelectric Materials, edited by N. Muensit ( Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland, 2011), pp. 122–140.
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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 Aβ-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 °C. Pyroelectric activity decreases with temperature contrary to most ferroelectric materials and significant relaxation of pyrocurrent is observed on cooling after heating above 50 °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.
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