Temperature-Dependent Coherent Tunneling across Graphene-Ferritin Biomolecular Junctions

Nipun Kumar Gupta, Senthil Kumar Karuppannan, Rupali Reddy Pasula, Ayelet Vilan, Jens Martin, Wentao Xu, Esther Maria May, Andrew R. Pike, Hippolyte P.A.G. Astier, Teddy Salim, Sierin Lim, Christian A. Nijhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding the mechanisms of charge transport (CT) across biomolecules in solid-state devices is imperative to realize biomolecular electronic devices in a predictive manner. Although it is well-Accepted that biomolecule-electrode interactions play an essential role, it is often overlooked. This paper reveals the prominent role of graphene interfaces with Fe-storing proteins in the net CT across their tunnel junctions. Here, ferritin (AfFtn-AA) is adsorbed on the graphene by noncovalent amine-graphene interactions confirmed with Raman spectroscopy. In contrast to junctions with metal electrodes, graphene has a vanishing density of states toward its intrinsic Fermi level ("Dirac point"), which increases away from the Fermi level. Therefore, the amount of charge carriers is highly sensitive to temperature and electrostatic charging (induced doping), as deduced from a detailed analysis of CT as a function of temperature and iron loading. Remarkably, the temperature dependence can be fully explained within the coherent tunneling regime due to excitation of hot carriers. Graphene is not only demonstrated as an alternative platform to study CT across biomolecular tunnel junctions, but it also opens rich possibilities in employing interface electrostatics in tuning CT behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44665-44675
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022


  • Biomolecular electronics
  • Charge transport
  • EGaIn
  • Ferritin
  • Graphene
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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