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Keywords:

  • break junction;
  • DNA conductance;
  • end-modification;
  • thiol–gold binding

It is shown that double-stranded DNA which is directly coupled to gold via a modified thymidine base exhibits a higher conductance than reported for DNA coupled to metal electrodes using different binding schemes. The measurements of electrical conductance are performed in a mechanically controlled break junction setup in aqueous solution and in high vacuum at room temperature. The current–voltage characteristics obtained in vacuum can be understood if a single molecular energy level determines the transport.