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Issue 14, 2016
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Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

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Abstract

Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au–silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au–silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au–silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au–silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms.

Graphical abstract: Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

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Article information


Submitted
22 Feb 2016
Accepted
03 Mar 2016
First published
09 Mar 2016

Nanoscale, 2016,8, 7695-7703
Article type
Paper

Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

N. Gogurla, A. K. Sinha, D. Naskar, S. C. Kundu and S. K. Ray, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 7695
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR01494A

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