The ability of the DNA double helix to transport electrons underlies many life-centered biological processes and bio-electronic applications. However, there is little consensus on how efficiently the base pair π-stacks of DNA mediate electron transport. This minireview scrutinizes the current state-of-the-art knowledge on electron transfer (ET) properties of DNA and its long-range ability to transfer (mediate) electrical signals at electrified interfaces, without being oxidized or reduced. Complex changes an electric field induces in the DNA structure and its electronic properties govern the efficiency of DNA-mediated ET at electrodes and allow addressing the existing phenomenological riddles, while recently discovered rectifying properties of DNA contribute both to our understanding of DNA′s ET in living systems and to advances in molecular bioelectronics.
- DNA conductivity
- DNA rectifier
- DNA-mediated electron transfer
- Electrochemical DNA melting