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J Biotechnol. 2004 Aug 26;112(1-2):91-5.

Absence of intrinsic electric conductivity in single dsDNA molecules.

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Experimental Biophysics, Faculty of Physics, Bielefeld University, Universit├Ątsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


The intrinsic dc conductivity of long, individual lambda phage dsDNA molecules has been investigated by ultrasensitive low current-voltage-spectroscopy (IV) under ambient conditions and controlled low humidity inert gas atmosphere on microfabricated metal-insulator-metal gap structures. We found a strong dependence of the measured conductivity on the apparent humidity, which we attribute to capillary condensation of water to the immobilized DNA molecules, giving rise to additional ionic currents. Additional IV-spectroscopy experiments under controlled argon atmosphere always revealed a significant drop in electrical conductivity to 4 x 10(-15)AV(-1)microm(-1), indicating almost no considerable contribution of electrical long range charge transport.

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