Control of piezoelectricity in amino acids by supramolecular packing
authors Sarah Guerin, Aimee Stapleton, Drahomir Chovan, Rabah Mouras, Matthew Gleeson, Cian McKeown, Mohamed Radzi Noor, Christophe Silien, Fernando M. F. Rhen, Andrei L. Kholkin, Ning Liu, Tewfik Soulimane, Syed A. M. Tofail & Damien Thompson
nationality International
abstract Piezoelectricity, the linear relationship between stress and induced electrical charge, has attracted recent interest due to its manifestation in biological molecules such as synthetic polypeptides or amino acid crystals, including gamma (γ) glycine. It has also been demonstrated in bone, collagen, elastin and the synthetic bone mineral hydroxyapatite. Piezoelectric coefficients exhibited by these biological materials are generally low, typically in the range of 0.110 pm V−1, limiting technological applications. Guided by quantum mechanical calculations we have measured a high shear piezoelectricity (178 pm V−1) in the amino acid crystal beta (β) glycine, which is of similar magnitude to barium titanate or lead zirconate titanate. Our calculations show that the high piezoelectric coefficients originate from an efficient packing of the molecules along certain crystallographic planes and directions. The highest predicted piezoelectric voltage constant for β-glycine crystals is 8 V mN−1, which is an order of magnitude larger than the voltage generated by any currently used ceramic or polymer.
year published 2017
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1038/nmat5045
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journal impact factor (jcr 2016): 39.737
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