Transistor configuration yields energy level control in protein-based junctions

Ben Kayser, Jerry A. Fereiro, Cunlan Guo, Sidney R. Cohen, Mordechai Sheves, Israel Pecht, David Cahen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The incorporation of proteins as functional components in electronic junctions has received much interest recently due to their diverse bio-chemical and physical properties. However, information regarding the energies of the frontier orbitals involved in their electron transport (ETp) has remained elusive. Here we employ a new method to quantitatively determine the energy position of the molecular orbital, nearest to the Fermi level (EF) of the electrode, in the electron transfer protein Azurin. The importance of the Cu(ii) redox center of Azurin is demonstrated by measuring gate-controlled conductance switching which is absent if Azurin's copper ions are removed. Comparing different electrode materials, a higher conductance and a lower gate-induced current onset is observed for the material with smaller work function, indicating that ETp via Azurin is LUMO-mediated. We use the difference in work function to calibrate the difference in gate-induced current onset for the two electrode materials, to a specific energy level shift and find that ETp via Azurin is near resonance. Our results provide a basis for mapping and studying the role of energy level positions in (bio)molecular junctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21712-21720
Number of pages9
Issue number46
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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