On the origin of electrical conductivity in the bio-electronic material melanin

Mostert, A. Bernardus, Powell, Ben J., Gentle, Ian R. and Meredith, Paul (2012) On the origin of electrical conductivity in the bio-electronic material melanin. Applied Physics Letters, 100 9: . doi:10.1063/1.3688491

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Author Mostert, A. Bernardus
Powell, Ben J.
Gentle, Ian R.
Meredith, Paul
Title On the origin of electrical conductivity in the bio-electronic material melanin
Journal name Applied Physics Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-6951
1077-3118
Publication date 2012-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1063/1.3688491
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 100
Issue 9
Total pages 3
Place of publication College Park, MD, United States
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The skin pigment melanin is one of a few bio-macromolecules that display electrical and photo-conductivity in the solid-state. A model for melanin charge transport based on amorphous semiconductivity has been widely accepted for 40 years. In this letter, we show that a central pillar in support of this hypothesis, namely experimental agreement with a hydrated dielectric model, is an artefact related to measurement geometry and non-equilibrium behaviour. Our results cast significant doubt on the validity of the amorphous semiconductor model and are a reminder of the difficulties of electrical measurements on low conductivity, disordered organic materials.
Keyword Bioelectric phenomena
Biomedical materials
Electrical Conductivity
Macromolecules
Molecular biophysics
Photoconducting materials
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes (Received 9 December 2011; accepted 6 February 2012; published online 27 February 2012)

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2013 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 24 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 29 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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