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Graphene on Au(111): A Highly Conductive Material with Excellent Adsorption Properties for High-Resolution Bio/Nanodetection and Identification

Authors

  • Bo Song Dr.,

    1. Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 800-204, Shanghai 201800 (China), Fax: (+86) 21-59553021
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  • Di Li Dr.,

    1. Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 800-204, Shanghai 201800 (China), Fax: (+86) 21-59553021
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  • Wenpeng Qi,

    1. Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 800-204, Shanghai 201800 (China), Fax: (+86) 21-59553021
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  • Marcus Elstner Prof.,

    1. Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Karlsruhe, D-76131 Karlsruhe (Germany)
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  • Chunhai Fan Prof.,

    1. Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 800-204, Shanghai 201800 (China), Fax: (+86) 21-59553021
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  • Haiping Fang Prof.

    1. Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 800-204, Shanghai 201800 (China), Fax: (+86) 21-59553021
    2. Theoretical Physics Center for Science Facilities (TPCSF), CAS, 19(B) Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049 (China)
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Abstract

Based on numerical simulations and experimental studies, we show that a composite material which consists of a sheet of graphene on a Au(111) surface exhibits both an excellent conductivity and the ability to stably adsorb biomolecules. If we use this material as a substrate, the signal-to-noise ratios can be greatly enhanced. The key to this unique property is that graphene can stably adsorb carbon-based rings, which are widely present in biomolecules, due to π-stacking interactions while the substrate retains the excellent conductivity of gold. Remarkably, the signal-to-noise ratio is found to be so high that the signal is clearly distinguishable for different nucleobases when an ssDNA is placed on this graphene-on-Au(111) material. Our finding opens opportunities for a range of bio/nano-applications including single-DNA-molecule-based biodevices and biosensors, particularly, high-accuracy sequencing of DNA strands with repeating segments.

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