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Effects of potassium on the supramolecular structure and electronic properties of eumelanin thin films.

Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids (2010-11-17)
Patrizia Borghetti, Andrea Goldoni, Carla Castellarin-Cudia, Loredana Casalis, Fabian Herberg, Luca Floreano, Albano Cossaro, Alberto Verdini, Ralph Gebauer, Prasenjit Ghosh, Luigi Sangaletti
ABSTRACT

The role of potassium in the formation of synthetic eumelanin aggregates is investigated by atomic force microscopy and soft-X-ray spectroscopy. Control over the thin film granularity is achieved by using K salts, in both drop casting and electrodeposition of eumelanin thin films. Further control over orientation is made possible by a suitable choice of the substrate: evidence of self-assembly is found for thin films deposited on gold. Finally, it is shown that the potassium content affects not only the samples morphology, but also the low-lying states in the valence band, where a transfer of spectral weight across the HOMO-LUMO gap is observed, disclosing possible applications of this multifunctional biomacromolecule.

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