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

A. Bernardus Mostert, Ben J. Powell, Ian R. Gentle, Paul Meredith Orcid Logo, Bernard Mostert Orcid Logo

Applied Physics Letters, Volume: 100, Issue: 9, Start page: 093701

Swansea University Authors: Paul Meredith Orcid Logo, Bernard Mostert Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1063/1.3688491

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 t...

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Published in: Applied Physics Letters
ISSN: 0003-6951 1077-3118
Published: 2012
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa38487
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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.
Keywords: Water heating, bioelectrochemistry, Semiconductor device modeling, Adsorption, Electric measurements
College: College of Science
Issue: 9
Start Page: 093701