Macroscopic Alignment and Assembly of π-Conjugated Oligopeptides Using Colloidal Microchannels

Bo Li, Lawrence R. Valverde, Fengjiao Zhang, Yuecheng Zhou, Songsong Li, Ying Diao, William L. Wilson, Charles M. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One-dimensional (1-D) supramolecular self-assembly offers a powerful strategy to achieve long-range unidirectional ordering of organic semiconducting materials via noncovalent interactions. Using a hierarchical assembly, electronic and optoelectronic materials can be constructed for applications including organic conducting nanowires, organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), and organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs). Despite recent progress, it remains challenging to precisely align and assemble 1-D structures over large areas in a rapid and straightforward manner. In this work, we demonstrate a facile strategy to macroscopically align supramolecular fibers using a templating method based on sacrificial colloidal microchannels. Through use of this approach, colloidal microchannels are generated on a solid surface using a simple fabrication method, followed by the spontaneous self-assembly of π-conjugated oligopeptides inside large arrays of microchannels triggered by solvent evaporation. Following oligopeptide assembly and removal of sacrificial microchannels, the structural properties of oligopeptide fibers were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM), atomic force microscope-infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR), photoinduced force microscopy (PiFM), fluorescence polarization microscopy, and electron microscopy. These results reveal the macroscopic alignment of oligopeptide fibers into ordered structures over millimeter length scales, facilitated by colloidal microchannel templating. In addition, the charge transport properties (I-V curves) of π-conjugated oligopeptides assembled using this method were determined under a wide range of applied voltages using interdigitated array electrodes and conductive AFM. Overall, this work illustrates a simple yet robust strategy to pattern 1-D supramolecular fibers over large areas, thereby offering new routes for assembling materials for organic electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41586-41593
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 29 2017


  • atomic force microscope-infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR)
  • colloidal microchannels
  • photoinduced force microscopy (PiFM)
  • self-assembly
  • π-conjugated oligopeptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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