Studying the structural and charge transport properties in DNA is important for unraveling molecular scale processes and developing device applications of DNA molecules. Here we study the effect of mechanical stretching-induced structural changes on charge transport in single DNA molecules. The charge transport follows the hopping mechanism for DNA molecules with lengths varying from 6 to 26 base pairs, but the conductance is highly sensitive to mechanical stretching, showing an abrupt decrease at surprisingly short stretching distances and weak dependence on DNA length. We attribute this force-induced conductance decrease to the breaking of hydrogen bonds in the base pairs at the end of the sequence and describe the data with a mechanical model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)