This paper describes a heterogeneous oligonucleotide-hybridization assay based on hot electron-induced electrochemiluminescence (HECL) of a rhodamine label. Thin oxide-film coated aluminum and silicon electrodes were modified with an aminosilane layer and derivatized with short, 15-mer oligonucleotides via diisothiocyanate coupling. Target oligonucleotides were conjugated with tetramethylrhodamine (TAMRA) dye at their amino modified 5′ end and hybridization was detected using HECL of TAMRA. Preliminary results indicate sensitivity down to picomolar level and low nonspecific adsorption. The sensitivity was better on oxide-coated silicon compared to oxide-coated aluminum electrodes and two-base pair mismatched hybrids were successfully discriminated. The experimental results presented here might be useful for the design of disposable electrochemiluminescent DNA biosensors. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.