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Issue 9, 2014
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Structure determined charge transport in single DNA molecule break junctions

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Abstract

Experimental study of the charge transport properties associated with structural variations due to a change in the ionic environment will provide essential physical information in determining the nature of DNA molecules. This work reports an experimental study of the change in electronic transport properties induced by the conformational transition of a poly d(GC)4 DNA. By gradually increasing the concentration of MgCl2 in the buffer solution from 0 M to 4 M, the conductance of the single DNA molecule decreased by two orders of magnitude. Circular dichroism (CD) measurements confirmed that a B to Z conformational transition caused the reduction in conductance. Using a stretch-hold mode scanning probe microscopy break junction (SPMBJ) technique, this B–Z transition process was monitored and a transition trend line was successfully achieved from conductance measurements alone. The transition midpoint occurred at a MgCl2 concentration of 0.93 M for this DNA sequence. This method provides a general tool to study transitions of molecular properties associated with conductance differences.

Graphical abstract: Structure determined charge transport in single DNA molecule break junctions

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Mar 2014, accepted on 04 May 2014 and first published on 12 May 2014


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SC00888J
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2014,5, 3425-3431
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    Structure determined charge transport in single DNA molecule break junctions

    K. Wang, J. M. Hamill, B. Wang, C. Guo, S. Jiang, Z. Huang and B. Xu, Chem. Sci., 2014, 5, 3425
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SC00888J

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