Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences




Quantum confined materials have been extensively studied for photoluminescent applica- tions. Due to intrinsic limitations of low biocompatibility and challenging modulation, the utilization of conventional inorganic quantum confined photoluminescent materials in bio- imaging and bio-machine interface faces critical restrictions. Here, we present aromatic cyclo-dipeptides that dimerize into quantum dots, which serve as building blocks to further self-assemble into quantum confined supramolecular structures with diverse morphologies and photoluminescence properties. Especially, the emission can be tuned from the visible region to the near-infrared region (420 nm to 820 nm) by modulating the self-assembly process. Moreover, no obvious cytotoxic effect is observed for these nanostructures, and their utilization for in vivo imaging and as phosphors for light-emitting diodes is demon- strated. The data reveal that the morphologies and optical properties of the aromatic cyclo- dipeptide self-assemblies can be tuned, making them potential candidates for supramolecular quantum confined materials providing biocompatible alternatives for broad biomedical and opto-electric applications.

Source Citation

Tao, K., Fan, Z., Sun, L., Makam, P., Tian, Z., Ruegsegger, M., … Li, J. (2018). Quantum confined peptide assemblies with tunable visible to near-infrared spectral range. Nature Communications, 9(1).


Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons

Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit licenses/by/4.0/.

© The Author(s) 2018



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.