Phenylalanine dimer assembly structure as the basic building block of an amyloid like photoluminescent nanofibril network†
A phenylalanine dimer assembly (Phe-DA) is reported as a basic constituent of a light emitting β-amyloid type nanofibril network. The size and composition of the Phe-DA structure were characterized using various theoretical and experimental techniques. Further, the mechanism involved in the phenylalanine self-assembly process from Phe-DA to the nanofibril network was studied using optical spectroscopy and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The discovery of Phe-DA and its unique optical properties may pave the way for design and development of novel theranostics against metabolite based pathalogical disorders. Further, the role of the Phe-DA structure as the elementary unit in the formation of a long range assembly structure may provide vital understanding for the development of functional materials using simple organic molecules.