Using a tunnel junction in which one electrode is guanidinium- functionalized (to trap DNA via hydrogen bonding to the backbone phosphates) and a second electrode which is functionalized with a base (to capture its complementary target on the DNA), current versus distance curves are obtained which yield an accurate measure of the base composition of DNA oligomers. With this long tunneling path, resolution is limited to sequence blocks of about twenty bases or larger, because of the need to form a large-area tunnel junction. A shorter hydrogen-bonded path across bases will be required for DNA sequencing. Nonetheless, these measurements point the way to a new type of nanoscale sensor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering