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Aviram-Ratner rectifying mechanism for DNA base-pair sequencing through graphene nanogaps

We demonstrate that biological molecules such as Watson-Crick DNA base pairs can behave as biological Aviram-Ratner electrical rectifers because of the spatial separation and weak hydrogen bonding between the nucleobases. We have performed a parallel computational implementation of the ab-initio non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF) theory to determine the electrical response of graphene--base-pair--graphene junctions. The results show an asymmetric (rectifying) current-voltage response for the Cytosine-Guanine base pair adsorbed on a graphene nanogap. In sharp contrast we find a symmetric response for the Thymine-Adenine case. We propose applying the asymmetry of the current-voltage response as a sensing criterion to the technological challenge of rapid DNA sequencing via graphene nanogaps.

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