Tuning the Electromechanical Properties of Single DNA Molecular Junctions

Christopher Bruot, Limin Xiang, Julio L. Palma, Yueqi Li, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Understanding the interplay between the electrical and mechanical properties of DNA molecules is important for the design and characterization of molecular electronic devices, as well as understanding the role of charge transport in biological functions. However, to date, force-induced melting has limited our ability to investigate the response of DNA molecular conductance to stretching. Here we present a new molecule-electrode linker based on a hairpin-like design, which prevents force-induced melting at the end of single DNA molecules during stretching by stretching both strands of the duplex evenly. We find that the new linker group gives larger conductance than previously measured DNA-electrode linkers, which attach to the end of one strand of the duplex. In addition to changing the conductance the new linker also stabilizes the molecule during stretching, increasing the length a single DNA molecule can be stretched before an abrupt decrease in conductance. Fitting these electromechanical properties to a spring model, we show that distortion is more evenly distributed across the single DNA molecule during stretching, and thus the electromechanical effects of the π-π coupling between neighboring bases is measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13933-13937
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number43
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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