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Physics  2012 

Distinct mechanisms of DNA sensing based on N-doped carbon nanotubes with enhanced conductance and chemical selectivity

DOI: 10.1002/smll.201301225

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Carrying out first-principles calculations, we study N-doped capped carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes applied to DNA sequencing. While we obtain for the face-on nucleobase junction configurations a conventional conductance ordering where the largest signal results from guanine according to its high highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) level, we extract for the edge-on counterparts a distinct conductance ordering where the low-HOMO thymine provides the largest signal. The edge-on mode is shown to operate based on a novel molecular sensing mechanism that reflects the chemical connectivity between N-doped CNT caps that can act both as electron donors and electron acceptors and DNA functional groups that include the hyperconjugated thymine methyl group.


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