Insulating behavior of lambda-DNA on the micron scale

Y. Zhang, R. H. Austin, J. Kraeft, E. C. Cox, N. P. Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


We have investigated the electrical conductivity of lambda-DNA using DNA covalently bonded to Au electrodes. Thiol-modified dTTP was incorporated into the "sticky" ends of bacteriophage lambda-DNA using DNA polymerase. Two-probe measurements on such molecules provide a hard lower bound for the resistivity rho>10(6)Omega cm at bias potentials up to 20 V, in conflict with recent claims of moderate to high conductivity. By direct imaging, we show that the molecules are present after the measurements. We stress the importance of eliminating salt residues in these measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198102
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 4 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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