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System and method for measuring conductivity on molecular level

United States Patent

November 7, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Nanojunction Sensors for the Detection of chemical and Biological Species
A conductivity measurement system measures conductivity of molecules. A substance to be measured is applied to the first and second electrodes. A potential is applied across the electrodes. A computer-controlled motion controller moves a first electrode relative to a second electrode in discrete steps. In a first step, the electrodes are brought together in physical contact to form a plurality of molecular junctions. The electrodes are separated by a first distance which breaks a first molecular junction. The electrodes are separated by a second distance which breaks a second molecular junction. A conductivity measure is taken at each step. The process of separating the electrodes continues until conductivity measure is zero. The conductivity of one molecule corresponds to a last non-zero conductivity measurement prior to a zero conductivity measurement.
Tao; Nongjian (Scottsdale, AZ)
Arizona Board of Regents (Tempe, AZ)
10/ 929,134
August 26, 2004
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in the present invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on fair and reasonable terms as provided by the terms of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grant No. DE-FG03-01ER45943 awarded by the Department of Defense.