A graphene field-effect transistor as a molecule-specific probe of DNA nucleobases

Nikolai Dontschuk, Alastair Stacey, Anton Tadich, Kevin J. Rietwyk, Alex Schenk, Mark T. Edmonds, Olga Shimoni, Chris I. Pakes, Steven Prawer, Jiri Cervenka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Fast and reliable DNA sequencing is a long-standing target in biomedical research. Recent advances in graphene-based electrical sensors have demonstrated their unprecedented sensitivity to adsorbed molecules, which holds great promise for label-free DNA sequencing technology. To date, the proposed sequencing approaches rely on the ability of graphene electric devices to probe molecular-specific interactions with a graphene surface. Here we experimentally demonstrate the use of graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) as probes of the presence of a layer of individual DNA nucleobases adsorbed on the graphene surface. We show that GFETs are able to measure distinct coverage-dependent conductance signatures upon adsorption of the four different DNA nucleobases; a result that can be attributed to the formation of an interface dipole field. Comparison between experimental GFET results and synchrotron-based material analysis allowed prediction of the ultimate device sensitivity, and assessment of the feasibility of single nucleobase sensing with graphene.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6563
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2015

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