Functional K-doping of eumelanin thin films: Density functional theory and soft x-ray spectroscopy experiments in the frame of the macrocyclic protomolecule model

Giovanni Drera, Luigi Ermenegildo Sangaletti, Patrizia Borghetti, P. Ghosh, C. Castellarin-Cudia, A. Goldoni, L. Floreano, A. Cossaro, A. Verdini, R. Gebauer

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

4 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

We demonstrate the possibility to achieve the doping of eumelanin thin films through K+ incorporation during the electrodeposition of the film. K-doping changes the optical properties of the eumelanin thin films, reducing the energy gap from 1.0 to 0.6 eV, with possible implications for the photophysical properties. We have identified the doping-related occupied and unoccupied electronic states and their spectral weight using resonant photoemission spectroscopy (ResPES) and x-ray absorption at the C and N K-edges (near edge x-ray absorption fine spectroscopy, NEXAFS). All data are consistently interpreted by ab initio calculations of the electronic structure within the frame of the macrocycle model developed for the eumelanin protomolecule. Our analysis puts in evidence the intercalation of K with one specific oligomer (a tetramer composed of one indolequinone and 3 hydroquinone monomers) in correspondence of the nitrogen macrocycle. The predicted variation of the tetramer spacing is also in agreement with the recent x-ray diffraction experiments. The charge donation from K to N and C atoms gives rise to new electronic states at the top of the valence band and in NEXAFS resonances of the unoccupied orbitals. The saturation of the tetramer macrocycles leaves an excess of K that bind to N and C atoms in alternative configurations, as witnessed by the occurrence of additional spectral features in the carbon-related ResPES measurements. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. {[http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4719211]}
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)204703-1-204703-9
Numero di pagine9
RivistaTHE JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS
Volume136
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012

Keywords

  • biomolecules
  • macrocycle
  • melanin
  • melanina
  • oligomers
  • photoemission
  • spectroscopy
  • spettroscopia
  • synchrotron
  • x-ray absorption

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