Graphene/hexagonal boron nitride/graphene nanopore for electrical detection of single molecules

Yuhui He, Makusu Tsutsui, Sou Ryuzaki, Kazumichi Yokota, Masateru Taniguchi, Tomoji Kawai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Graphene nanopore device, since its proposal, has witnessed tremendous progress toward the goal of single-molecule detection. However, one central challenge of preparing electrodes with nanometer precision on the graphene remains unsolved. Here we show theoretically the feasibility of graphene/hexagonal BN (h-BN)/graphene structure where top graphene layer acts as one electrical contact while the bottom layer as the other. Based on quantum chemistry/nonequilibrium Green's function investigation, we give clear physical pictures why ABC stacking of the above heterogeneous layers results in excellent insulating of the top and bottom graphene electrodes. On the other hand, when the target molecule is inside the nanopore the background conductance through the h-BN dielectric will not keep decreasing even though more layers of h-BN are inside the nanopore. The mechanism is illustrated as that the presence of the molecule will enhance the vertical transmission through the h-BN dielectric via quantum interference. We employ a single-level molecule model, and show quantitatively that the discussed effect can be utilized as a powerful signal amplifier for the molecule conductance, thus enhancing the measurability of single molecules by 3-4 orders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere104
JournalNPG Asia Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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