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Single Molecule Study: Molecular Electronics & Single Molecular Biophysics and Mechanics
Welcome to the XU LAB at the University of Georgia!
Research Theme
Our single molecule research is highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary that comprises the field of single molecule biophysics/biochemistry, molecular electronics, nanobiotechnology, bioenergy, and nanomedicine with the main purpose to reveal the mechanisms of the single molecule electronic, mechanical, and interaction properties, establishing the molecular structure-function relationships and probe how environmental factors contribute to such properties. Its centerpiece lies in the development and advancement of SPM-based single molecule device and measurement techniques, including the SPM break junction techniques the PI pioneered that are now widely adopted by many research groups in the world and the AFM single molecule recognition and interaction imaging and measurements. The techniques are used to study electronic transport and mechanical properties in single molecular junction devices and sensing the single molecule interactions between the probe molecules and the target molecules (For more details on research projects, see Research).


10 Representative Publications

  • CL Guo, K  Wang,  E Zerah-Harush, J Hamill, B Wang, Y Dubi, BQ Xu, 2016 Single-molecule rectifier composed of DNA with high rectification ratio enabled by structure modification, Nat. Chem., 8, 484-490  (Link).
  • Z Lou,  B Wang, CL Guo, K Wang, HQ Zhang, BQ Xu, 2015 Molecualr-level Insight of Early-stage Prion Protein   Aggregation  on Mica and God Surface by AFM Imaging and Molecular Simulation, Colloids Surf., B 135 371-378 (Link)
  • CL Guo, X Fan,  H Qiu, W Xiao, L Wang, BQ Xu, 2015 High-resolution probing heparan sulfate-antithrombin interaction on single endothelial cell surface:  Single-molecule AFM studies, Phys. Chem. Chem.Phys., 17 13301-13306 (Link)
  • K Wang,  J Hamill,  JF Zhou, BQ Xu, 2014 Mapping the details of contact effect of modulated Au-octanedithiol-Au break junction by force-conductance cross-correlation,  J. Am. Chem. Soc.136 (50), pp 17406–17409 (Link)
  • K Wang, J Hamill, B Wang, CL Guo, S Jiang, Z Huang, BQ Xu, 2014 Structure determined charge transport in single DNA molecule break junctions,  Chem. Sci., 5 (9) 3425-3431 (Link)
  • MM Zhang, GJ Chen, G. Kumar, BQ Xu, 2013 Mapping out the structural changes of natural and pretreated plant cell wall surfaces by atomic force microscopy single molecular recognition  imaging, Biotechnol. Biofuels, 6, 147 (Link)
  • JF Zhou, S Samanta, CL Guo, J Locklin, BQ Xu, 2013 Measurements of contact specific low-bias negative differential resistance of single metalorganic molecular junctions, Nanoscale, 3,  5715-5719 (Link)
  • Wang, B Cl Guo, GJ Chen, B Park, BQ Xu, 2012 Following aptamer–ricin specific binding by single molecule recognition and force spectroscopy measurements, Chem. Commun., 48, 1644–1646 (Link)
  • Zhou JF, F Chen, BQ Xu. 2009. Fabrication and electronic characterization of single molecular junction devices: A comprehensive approachJ AM CHEM SOC 131 (30): 10439-10446 (Link)
  • Xu BQ and NJ Tao. 2003. Measurement of single-molecule resistance by repeated formation of molecular junctionsSCIENCE 301 (5637): 1221-1223  (Link)
Research Sponser:

           NSF NIH USDA
Group News (more)

  • Our invited review paper for Top. Curr. Chem. is now accepted and in print!
  • Our collaborator, Dr. Andrea Vezzoli from University of Liverpool visited the lab for a busy week, doing experiments with us.
  • Our Nat. Chem. paper on single DNA rectififier ha been highlighted in over 60 media news, (e.g. UGA Today, Nature Chemistry Article Metrix Highlights, 3ed on the top 10 list of 2016 Nat. Chem., You Tube)
  • Kun was awarded the MRS Graduate student Silver Award at the MRS 2016 Fall Meeting (more), cogratrulations!!
  • Kun was awarded the UGA Innovative and Interdisciiplinary Research Award, great job!
  • Kun was awarded the Sean M. Kirkpatrick Award for Outstanding graduate Research, Congratulations!!
  • Cunlan and Kun's Nature Chemistry paper published ( link) Congratulations!  The world smallest diode out of DNA is beautifully demosntrated and it has been generating the press highlighting this work around the world.
  • Yanan's paper published by Biotechnol. Biofuels, great job!
  • Kun's PCCP paper published!
  • Bin's J. Chem. Phys. paper published, Congratulations!
  • Ourcollaborated  paper JPCB  published!
  • Our collaborated RSC Adv.  paper published. Great job  Tong & Yangang

PhD students and/or postdoctoral researchers: Depending on the employment situation and grants available, I may have openings for PhD students and/or postdoctoral researchers. Interested and highly motivated candidates are welcome to consult with Dr. Xu by sending email to: The research activities of the group focus on the experimental nanobiotechnology research. Specifically, we are doing single molecule study on biological molecules and systems, with emphases on molecular electronics and single molecular interaction recognition and detection. Right now, we are looking for PhD students for 1), molecular electronics, and 2), AFM-based single molecular biophysics and biomechanics.Candidates with electrical engineering, physics, chemistry and/or chemical engineering backgrounds and have working experience with STM and AFM are especially encouraged to apply.

who are interested in hand-on research experience in our group’s focus research areas, are also welcome to apply. Just send me an email ( telling me a little bit about yourself and the project area in which you are interested.

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