Nano Lett. doi:10.1021/nl9029237 (2010)

A device that could rapidly sequence a single strand of DNA passing through a gap in a piece of graphene — a one-atom thick sheet of carbon — is outlined by Henk Postma of California State University, Northridge.

Postma's device would make use of graphene's conducting ability. The graphene would act as the electrodes to measure the conductance of DNA as it moved through the gap. Each of the four bases that make up DNA has a unique conductance, which would allow the DNA sequence to be read.

Other nanopores have been devised for DNA sequencing, but graphene's innate conductance and sturdiness makes it more attractive, says Postma.