Feasibility study of molecular memory device based on DNA using methylation to store information

Liming Jiang, Wanzhi Qiu, Feras Al-Dirini, Faruque M. Hossain, Robin Evans, Efstratios Skafidas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


DNA, because of its robustness and dense information storage capability, has been proposed as a potential candidate for next-generation storage media. However, encoding information into the DNA sequence requires molecular synthesis technology, which to date is costly and prone to synthesis errors. Reading the DNA strand information is also complex. Ideally, DNA storage will provide methods for modifying stored information. Here, we conduct a feasibility study investigating the use of the DNA 5-methylcytosine (5mC) methylation state as a molecular memory to store information. We propose a new 1-bit memory device and study, based on the density functional theory and non-equilibrium Green's function method, the feasibility of electrically reading the information. Our results show that changes to methylation states lead to changes in the peak of negative differential resistance which can be used to interrogate memory state. Our work demonstrates a new memory concept based on methylation state which can be beneficial in the design of next generation DNA based molecular electronic memory devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025501
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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