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Nanopores in Atomically Thin 2D Nanosheets Limit Aqueous Single-Stranded DNA Transport



Alexander Smolyanitsky, Binquan Luan


Nanopores in 2D materials are highly desirable for DNA sequencing, yet achieving single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) transport through them is challenging. Using density functional theory calculations and molecular dynamics simulations we show that ssDNA transport through a pore in monolayer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is marked by a basic nanomechanical conflict. It arises from the notably inhomogeneous flexural rigidity of ssDNA and causes high friction via transient DNA desorption costs exacerbated by solvation effects. For a similarly sized pore in bilayer h-BN, its self-passivated atomically smooth edge enables continuous ssDNA transport. Our findings shed light on the fundamental physics of biopolymer transport through pores in 2D materials.
Physical Review Letters


nanopores, DNA sequencing, theory, simulation, friction


Smolyanitsky, A. and Luan, B. (2021), Nanopores in Atomically Thin 2D Nanosheets Limit Aqueous Single-Stranded DNA Transport, Physical Review Letters, [online],, (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created September 24, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021