DNA Base Detection Using a Single-Layer MoS2

AB Farimani and K Min and NR Aluru, ACS NANO, 8, 7914-7922 (2014).

DOI: 10.1021/nn5029295

Nanopore-based DNA sequencing has led to fast and high-resolution recognition and detection of DNA bases. Solid-state and biological nanopores have low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) (< 10) and are generally too thick (> 5 nm) to be able to read at single-base resolution. A nanopore in graphene, a 2-D material with sub-nanometer thickness, has a SNR of similar to 3 under DNA ionic current In this report, using atomistic and quantum simulations, we find that a single layer MoS2 is an extraordinary material (with a SNR > 15) for DNA sequencing by two competing technologies (i.e., nanopore and nanochannel). A MoS2 nanopore shows four distinct ionic current signals for single-nucleobase detection with low noise. In addition, a single-layer MoS2 shows a characteristic change/response in the total density of states for each base. The band gap of MoS2 is significantly changed compared to other nanomaterials (e.g., graphene, h-BN, and silicon nanowire) when bases are placed on top of the pristine MoS2 and armchair MoS2 nanoribbon, thus making MoS2 a promising material for base detection via transverse current tunneling measurement MoS2 nanopore benefits from a craftable pore architecture (combination of Mo and S atoms at the edge) which can be engineered to obtain the optimum sequencing signals.

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