Understanding the electronic properties of single- and double-stranded DNA


Understanding the charge transfer mechanism through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules remains a challenge for numerous theoretical and experimental studies in order to be utilized in nanoelectronic devices. Various methods have attempted to investigate the conductivity of double-stranded (ds-) and single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules. However, different electronic behaviors of these molecules are not clearly understood due to the complexity and lack of accuracy of the methods applied in these studies. In this work however, we demonstrated an electronic method to study the electrical behavior of synthetic ssDNA or dsDNA integrated within printed circuit board (PCB)-based metal (gold)-semiconductor (DNA) Schottky junctions. The results obtained in this work are in agreement with other studies reporting dsDNA as having higher conductivity than ssDNA as observed by us in the range of 4-6μA for the former and 2-3μA for the latter at an applied bias of 3V. Selected solid-state parameters such as turn-on voltage, series resistance, shunt resistance, ideality factor, and saturation current were also calculated for the specifically designed ss- and dsDNA sequences using the thermionic emission model. The results also showed that the highest conductance was observed for dsDNA with guanine and cytosine base pairs, while the lowest conductance was for ssDNA with adenine and thymine bases. We believe the results of this preliminary work involving the gold-DNA Schottky junction may allow the interrogation of DNA charge transfer mechanisms and contribute to better understanding its elusive electronic properties.

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Correspondence to Vengadesh Periasamy.

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Daraghma, S.M.A., Talebi, S. & Periasamy, V. Understanding the electronic properties of single- and double-stranded DNA. Eur. Phys. J. E 43, 40 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1140/epje/i2020-11965-8

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