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Nanoscopic Electrode Molecular Probes

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

ORNL researchers invented a nanoscopic electrode system for measuring the
electron transport properties of a molecule. This invention offers a means of
enhancing measurements of a molecule positioned between two nanoscopic
electrodes for study. Currently, molecular sensing and identification is challenged
by uncertainty in conductance measurements.


In this invention, a molecule of interest is placed inside the nanogap created
between electrically conductive carbon-based electrodes functionalized with a
selected dopant atom. The calculated current response of the molecule results
in a many-orders-of-magnitude improvement in enhanced current response; this
response yields improved molecular recognition.



The resulting measurement could be used as a sequencing method when a DNA
strand is threaded inside the nanogap created between the electrodes, or for
detection/recognition of biomolecules.

  • Improved speed, cost, and accuracy for DNA sequencing and other molecular sensing
Applications and Industries
  • Cancer genome sequencing
  • Comparative genome sequencing
  • Human genotyping
  • Medical sequencing
  • Model systems
  • Parasite and vector genomes
  • Detection and recognition of organic molecules
More Information

Predrag S. Krstic and Vincent Meunier, Nanoscopic Electrode Molecular Probes, U.S. Patent Application 12/321,823, filed January 26, 2009.

Predrag S. Krstic and Vincent Meunier
Physics Division
Computer Science and Mathematics Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Application 20090295372
Nanoscopic electrode molecular probes
The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for enhancing the electron transport property measurements of a molecule when the molecule is placed between chemically functionalized carbon-based nanoscopic electrodes to which a suitable voltage bias is applied. The invention includes selecting a dopant atom for the nanoscopic electrodes, the dopant atoms being chemically similar to atoms present in the molecule, and functionalizing the outer surface and terminations of the electrodes with the dopant atoms.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 01/26/2009
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact ORNL About This Technology

To: Jennifer Tonzelo Caldwell, Ph.D.<>