Itinerant electron model and conductance of DNA

Shandong University National Key Laboratory of Crystal Materials Jinan 250100 China
Frontiers of Physics in China (Impact Factor: 1.44). 09/2008; 3(3):349-364. DOI: 10.1007/s11467-008-0029-8


DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) has recently caught the attention of chemists and physicists. A major reason for this interest
is DNA’s potential use in nanoelectronic devices, both as a template for assembling nanocircuits and as an element of such
circuits. However, the electronic properties of the DNA molecule remain very controversial. Charge-transfer reactions and
conductivity measurements show a large variety of possible electronic behavior, ranging from Anderson and band-gap insulators
to effective molecular wires and induced superconductors. In this review article, we summarize the wide-ranging experimental
and theoretical results of charge transport in DNA. An itinerant electron model is suggested and the effect of the density
of itinerant electrons on the conductivity of DNA is studied. Calculations show that a DNA molecule may show conductivity
from insulating to metallic, which explains the controversial and profuse electric characteristics of DNA to some extent.

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    ABSTRACT: By applying the non-equilibrium Green's function method, in combination with the dihedral orbital model, we have theoretically investigated quantum transport properties of organic molecular chains, focusing on the effects of the helical rotation of the chains. The transmission coefficient, the electronic current, as well as the current shot noise were calculated. It was found that the helical rotation modifies the transport properties profoundly. It leads to a diminishing and roughly periodical oscillatory behaviour of both the current and shot noise power.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Physics of Condensed Matter