Electronic detection of dsDNA transition from helical to zipper conformation using graphene nanopores

Chaitanya Sathe, Anuj Girdhar, Jean Pierre Leburton, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mechanical manipulation of DNA by forced extension can lead double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) to structurally transform from a helical form to a linear zipper-like form. By employing classical molecular dynamics and quantum mechanical nonequilibrium Green's function-based transport simulations, we show the ability of graphene nanopores to discern different dsDNA conformations, in a helical to zipper transition, using transverse electronic conductance. In particular, conductance oscillations due to helical dsDNA vanish as dsDNA extends from a helical form to a zipper form while it is transported through the nanopore. The predicted ability to detect conformational changes in dsDNA via transverse electronic conductance can widen the potential use of graphene-based nanosensors for DNA detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number445105
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 7 2014


  • DNA sequencing
  • electronic conductance
  • graphene
  • molecular dynamics
  • nanopore
  • quantum point contact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Materials Science


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