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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 811; doi:10.3390/s17040811

Detecting Electron Transport of Amino Acids by Using Conductance Measurement

Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Advanced Catalysis Materials, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Materials Protection and Advanced Materials in Electric Power, Shanghai University of Electric Power, Shanghai 200090, China
State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Masateru Taniguchi
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1437 KB, uploaded 10 April 2017]   |  


The single molecular conductance of amino acids was measured by a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) break junction. Conductance measurement of alanine gives out two conductance values at 10−1.85 G0 (1095 nS) and 10−3.7 G0 (15.5 nS), while similar conductance values are also observed for aspartic acid and glutamic acid, which have one more carboxylic acid group compared with alanine. This may show that the backbone of NH2–C–COOH is the primary means of electron transport in the molecular junction of aspartic acid and glutamic acid. However, NH2–C–COOH is not the primary means of electron transport in the methionine junction, which may be caused by the strong interaction of the Au–SMe (methyl sulfide) bond for the methionine junction. The current work reveals the important role of the anchoring group in the electron transport in different amino acids junctions. View Full-Text
Keywords: amino acid; single-molecule junction; STM break junction; carboxylic acid; amine amino acid; single-molecule junction; STM break junction; carboxylic acid; amine

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, W.-Q.; Huang, B.; Huang, M.-L.; Peng, L.-L.; Hong, Z.-W.; Zheng, J.-F.; Chen, W.-B.; Li, J.-F.; Zhou, X.-S. Detecting Electron Transport of Amino Acids by Using Conductance Measurement. Sensors 2017, 17, 811.

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