Measuring conductance switching in single proteins using quantum tunneling

Longhua Tang, Long Yi, Tao Jiang, Ren Ren, Binoy Paulose Nadappuram, Bintian Zhang, Jian Wu, Xu Liu, Stuart Lindsay, Joshua B. Edel, Aleksandar P. Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Interpreting the electrical signatures of single proteins in electronic junctions has facilitated a better understanding of the intrinsic properties of proteins that are fundamental to chemical and biological processes. Often, this information is not accessible using ensemble and even single-molecule approaches. In addition, the fabrication of nanoscale single-protein junctions remains challenging as they often require sophisticated methods. We report on the fabrication of tunneling probes, direct measurement, and active control (switching) of single-protein conductance with an external field in solution. The probes allowed us to bridge a single streptavidin molecule to two independently addressable, biotin-terminated electrodes and measure single-protein tunneling response over long periods. We show that charge transport through the protein has multiple conductive pathways that depend on the magnitude of the applied bias. These findings open the door for the reliable fabrication of protein-based junctions and can enable their use in future protein-embedded bioelectronics applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabm8149
JournalScience Advances
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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