Phenolic Polymers as Model Melanins

Hanaa A. Galeb, Jonas Eichhorn, Sam Harley, Alexander J. Robson, Laurine Martocq, Steven J. Nicholson, Mark D. Ashton, Hend A.M. Abdelmohsen, Emel Pelit, Sara J. Baldock, Nathan R. Halcovitch, Benjamin J. Robinson, Felix H. Schacher, Victor Chechik, Koen Vercruysse, Adam M. Taylor, John G. Hardy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Melanins are a class of conjugated biopolymers with varying compositions and functions, which have a variety of potential medical and technical applications. Here, this work examines the conjugated polymers derived from a variety of phenolic monomers (catechol (CAT), levodopa (DOPA), and homogentisic acid (HGA)), using a selection of different analytical chemistry techniques to compare their properties with a view to understanding structure–function relations. The polymers display measurable conductivity, with electronic properties tuned by the functional groups pendant on the polymer backbones (which served as dopants) suggesting their potential for application in electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300025
Number of pages12
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Early online date31 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia and King Abdulaziz University for financial support for H.A.G. (Grant: KAU1526). J.G.H. thanks the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for financial support (via grants EP/R003823/1, EP/R511560/1 and EP/K03099X/1), and the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council for financial support (via grant BB/L0137971/1) and the UK Royal Society for financial support (via grant: RG160449). F.H.S. and J.E. acknowledge funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Project B05 within the Sonderforschungsbereich SFB/TRR 234 “Catalight”, project ID: 364549901). The authors thank the British Council and Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education Newton‐Mosharafa Ph.D. Programme for a studentship to support H.A.M.A. (Grant Reference: NMM28/20). E.P. and J.G.H. acknowledge funding from TUBITAK, via the TUBITAK‐BIDEB 2219‐International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program (Grant Reference: 1059B191900691). The authors thank Rob Short at the University of Sheffield for insightful discussions about XPS.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • conjugated polymers
  • doping
  • melanins
  • organic electronics
  • phenols

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