Effect of mechanical stretching on DNA conductance

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Studying the structural and charge transport properties in DNA is important for unraveling molecular scale processes and developing device applications of DNA molecules. Here we study the effect of mechanical stretching-induced structural changes on charge transport in single DNA molecules. The charge transport follows the hopping mechanism for DNA molecules with lengths varying from 6 to 26 base pairs, but the conductance is highly sensitive to mechanical stretching, showing an abrupt decrease at surprisingly short stretching distances and weak dependence on DNA length. We attribute this force-induced conductance decrease to the breaking of hydrogen bonds in the base pairs at the end of the sequence and describe the data with a mechanical model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2015


  • DNA conductance
  • STM
  • break junction
  • mechanical properties
  • molecular electronics
  • single molecule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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