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Keywords:

  • electron transport;
  • DNA sequencing;
  • titanium nitride

We construct a hydrogen-bond based metal–molecule–metal junction, which contains two identical “reader” molecules, one single DNA base as a bridged molecule, and two titanium nitride electrodes. Hydrogen bonds are formed between “reader” molecules and DNA base, whereas titanium–sulfur bonds are formed between “reader” molecules and titanium nitride electrodes. We perform electronic structure calculations for both the bare bridged molecule and the full metal–molecule–metal system. The projected density of states shows that when the molecule is connected to the titanium nitride electrode, the energy levels of the bridged molecule are shifted, with an indirect effect on the hydrogen bonds. This is similar to the case for a gold electrode but with a more pronounced effect. We also calculate the current–voltage characteristics for the molecular junctions containing each DNA base. Results show that titanium nitride as an electrode can generate distinct conductance for each DNA base, providing an alternative electrode for DNA sequencing. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.