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 rectifiers 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.