A novel biosensing platform for single-molecule electronic detection and characterization via host-guest chemistry

Speak:    Prof. Shuai Chang

Time:     9:00-10:00, Oct. 28

Location:  SIST 1B 108

Host:     Prof. Tao Wu


In host-guest chemistry, cucurbituril is an important family with a unique chemical structure comprising a nano cavity to host many different small molecules. It has been highlighted to facilitate the binding with peptides, proteins and biomolecules, demonstrating great potential in high precision biosensing applications. In this report, we show that cucurbituril could assist single molecule electronic characterizations by holding single molecules inside its cavity on the metal surface. We first characterized the electrical properties of cucurbituril and its host-guest complexes by means of Recognition Tunneling technique. Next we show that the single molecule conductance of both cucurbituril and a guest molecule can be measured via break junction technique when the host-guest complex is present in the tunnel junction. Surprisingly, molecules without anchor groups could be also characterized when it is encapsulated inside the cucurbituril cavity. These results suggest that cucurbituril could enable a novel platform for electronic detection and characterization of single molecules and pose great potential for biosensing when significant biomolecules are investigated as our targets.