DNA base detection using a single-layer MoS2

Amir Barati Farimani, Kyoungmin Min, Narayana R. Aluru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanopore-based DNA sequencing has led to fast and high-resolution recognition and detection of DNA bases. Solid-state and biological nanopores have low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) (< 10) and are generally too thick (> 5 nm) to be able to read at single-base resolution. A nanopore in graphene, a 2-D material with sub-nanometer thickness, has a SNR of ∼3 under DNA ionic current. In this report, using atomistic and quantum simulations, we find that a single-layer MoS2 is an extraordinary material (with a SNR > 15) for DNA sequencing by two competing technologies (i.e., nanopore and nanochannel). A MoS2 nanopore shows four distinct ionic current signals for single-nucleobase detection with low noise. In addition, a single-layer MoS2 shows a characteristic change/response in the total density of states for each base. The band gap of MoS2 is significantly changed compared to other nanomaterials (e.g., graphene, h-BN, and silicon nanowire) when bases are placed on top of the pristine MoS2 and armchair MoS2 nanoribbon, thus making MoS2 a promising material for base detection via transverse current tunneling measurement. MoS2 nanopore benefits from a craftable pore architecture (combination of Mo and S atoms at the edge) which can be engineered to obtain the optimum sequencing signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7914-7922
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 26 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DFT
  • DNA
  • electronic detection
  • MD
  • nanopore
  • sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'DNA base detection using a single-layer MoS2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this