The Many Faces of Diphenylalanine


  • Mohtadin Hashemi Institute of Physics and Nanotechnology, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark
  • Peter Fojan Institute of Physics and Nanotechnology, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark
  • Leonid Gurevich Institute of Physics and Nanotechnology, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark



Diphenylalanine, peptide self-assembly, peptide nanowires, peptide nanotubes


Diphenylalanine is well known to form complex self-assembled structures,
including peptide nanowires, with morphologies depending on N- and C-
terminal modifications. Here we report that significant morphological vari-
ations of self-assembled structures are attainable through pH variation of
unmodified diphenylalanine in trifluoroethanol. The obtained self-assembled
diphenylalanine nanostructures are found to vary drastically with pH, incu-
bation time, and diphenylalanine concentration in solution. The observed
structures ranged from structured films at neutral and alkaline conditions to
vertically aligned nanowires and sponge-like structures at acidic conditions.
These observations are corroborated by the results of electrostatic modelling,
indicating the disappearance of the dipole moment at high pH values. This
also emphasizes the importance of the dipole moment for the resulting self-
assembled structures. Our results suggest that, in comparison to the commonly
described procedure of diphenylaniline nanowire growth through aniline
vapor treatment, strictly anhydrous conditions are not necessarily required.


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How to Cite

Hashemi, M., Fojan, P., & Gurevich, L. (2023). The Many Faces of Diphenylalanine. Journal of Self Assembly and Molecular Electronics, 1(2), 195–208.