Piezoresistivity in single DNA molecules

Christopher Bruot, Julio L. Palma, Limin Xiang, Vladimiro Mujica, Mark A. Ratner, Nongjian Tao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Piezoresistivity is a fundamental property of materials that has found many device applications. Here we report piezoresistivity in double helical DNA molecules. By studying the dependence of molecular conductance and piezoresistivity of single DNA molecules with different sequences and lengths, and performing molecular orbital calculations, we show that the piezoresistivity of DNA is caused by force-induced changes in the π-π electronic coupling between neighbouring bases, and in the activation energy of hole hopping. We describe the results in terms of thermal activated hopping model together with the ladder-based mechanical model for DNA proposed by de Gennes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8032
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Sep 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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