Can one define the conductance of amino acids?

Linda A. Zotti*, Beatrice Bednarz, Juan Hurtado-Gallego, Damien Cabosart, Gabino Rubio-Bollinger, Nicolas Agrait, Herre S.J. van der Zant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


We studied the electron-transport properties of ten different amino acids and one dimer (di-methionine) using the mechanically controlled break-junction (MCBJ) technique. For methionine and cysteine, additional measurements were performed with the scanning tunneling microscope break-junction (STM-BJ) technique. By means of a statistical clustering technique, we identified several conductance groups for each of the molecules considered. Ab initio calculations revealed that the observed broad conductance distribution stems from the possibility of various binding geometries which can be formed during stretching combined with a multitude of possible conformational changes. The results suggest that it would be helpful to explore different experimental techniques such as recognition tunneling and conditions to help identify the nature of amino-acid-based junctions even further, for example, with the goal to establish a firm platform for their unambiguous recognition by tunneling break-junction experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number580
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Amino acids
  • Biomolecular electronics
  • Break junctions
  • DFT
  • Electron transport
  • NEGF


Dive into the research topics of 'Can one define the conductance of amino acids?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this