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submitted on 09.04.2020 and posted on 13.04.2020by Ramkumar Balasubramanian, Sohini Pal, Anjana Rao, Akshay Naik, Banani Chakraborty, Prabal
K. Maiti, Manoj Varma
Cost effective, fast and reliable DNA sequencing can be enabled by
advances in nanopore based methods, such as the use of atomically thin graphene
membranes. However, strong interaction of DNA bases with graphene leads to
undesirable effects such as sticking of DNA strands to the membrane surface.
While surface functionalization is one way to counter this problem, here we present
another solution based on a heterostructure nanopore system, consisting of a
monolayer of graphene and hexagonal Boron Nitride (hBN) each. Molecular
dynamics studies of DNA translocation through this heterostructure nanopore
revealed a surprising and crucial influence of heterostructure layer order in
controlling the base specific signal variability. Specifically, the
heterostructure with graphene on top of hBN had nearly 3-10x lower signal
variability than the one with hBN on top of graphene. Simulations point to the
role of differential underside sticking of DNA bases as a possible reason for
the observed influence of layer order. Our studies can guide the development of
experimental systems to study and exploit DNA translocation through two-dimensional
heterostructure nanopores for single molecule sequencing and sensing