Probing DNA Translocations with Inplane Current Signals in a Graphene Nanoribbon with a Nanopore

Stephanie J. Heerema, Leonardo Vicarelli, Sergii Pud, Raymond N. Schouten, Henny W. Zandbergen, Cees Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
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Many theoretical studies predict that DNA sequencing should be feasible by monitoring the transverse current through a graphene nanoribbon while a DNA molecule translocates through a nanopore in that ribbon. Such a readout would benefit from the special transport properties of graphene, provide ultimate spatial resolution because of the single-atom layer thickness of graphene, and facilitate high-bandwidth measurements. Previous experimental attempts to measure such transverse inplane signals were however dominated by a trivial capacitive response. Here, we explore the feasibility of the approach using a custom-made differential current amplifier that discriminates between the capacitive current signal and the resistive response in the graphene. We fabricate well-defined short and narrow (30 nm × 30 nm) nanoribbons with a 5 nm nanopore in graphene with a high-temperature scanning transmission electron microscope to retain the crystallinity and sensitivity of the graphene. We show that, indeed, resistive modulations can be observed in the graphene current due to DNA translocation through the nanopore, thus demonstrating that DNA sensing with inplane currents in graphene nanostructures is possible. The approach is however exceedingly challenging due to low yields in device fabrication connected to the complex multistep device layout.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2623-2633
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • biosensing
  • DNA sequencing
  • graphene nanoribbon
  • nanopore
  • STEM


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