Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Scanning tunnelling microscopy

A DNA sequence scanned

The scanning tunnelling microscope can image and distinguish individual bases in DNA molecules, thus allowing partial sequencing of the strands.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Partial sequencing of a single DNA molecule with a scanning tunnelling microscope.


  1. Watson, J. D. & Crick, F. H. C. Nature 171, 737–738 (1953).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Franklin, R. & Gosling, R. G. Nature 171, 740–741 (1953).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Franklin, R. & Gosling, R. G. Nature 172, 156–157 (1953).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Binnig, G. & Rohrer, H. in Proc. 6th Gen. Conf. Europ. Phys. Soc. Vol. 1 (eds Janta, J. & Pantoflicek, J.) 38 (EPS, 1984).

  5. Tanaka, H. & Kawai, T. Nature Nanotech. 4, 518–522 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Lindsay, S. M., Thundat, T. & Nagahara, L. A. J. Microsc. 152, 213–220 (1988).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Guckenberger, R. et al. Science 266, 1538–1540 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Shapir, E. et al. Nature Mater. 7, 68–74 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Porath, D. A DNA sequence scanned. Nature Nanotech 4, 476–477 (2009).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing