Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Ionic charge transport is a ubiquitous language of communication in biological systems. As such, bioengineering is in constant need of innovative, soft, and biocompatible materials that facilitate ionic conduction. Low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) are complex self-assembled materials that have received increasing attention in recent years. Beyond their biocompatible, self-healing, and stimuli responsive facets, LMWGs can be viewed as a “solid” electrolyte solution. In this work, we investigate 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) as a capping group for a small peptide library, which we use as a system to understand the relationship between modes of assembly and charge transport in supramolecular gels. Through a combination of techniques including small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), NMR-based Van’t Hoff analysis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), rheology, four-point probe, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), we found that modifications to the peptide sequence result in distinct assembly pathways, thermodynamic parameters, mechanical properties, and ionic conductivities. Four-point probe conductivity measurements and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy suggest that ionic conductivity is approximately doubled by programmable gel assemblies with hollow cylinder morphologies relative to gels containing solid fibers or a control electrolyte. More broadly, it is hoped this work will serve as a platform for those working on charge transport of aqueous soft materials in general.

Original publication




Journal article


Chemistry of Materials

Publication Date