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Tight-binding modeling of charge migration in DNA devices

G. Cuniberti, E. Macia, A. Rodriguez, and R. A. Römer

In Charge migration in DNA: perspectives from Physics, Chemistry & Biology , Springer (2007)

[In ``Charge migration in DNA: perspectives from physics, chemistry & biology''. Edited by T. Chakraborty. Springer (2007). ISBN-13: 978-3540724933.]
ISBN: 978-3540724933

Within the class of biopolymers, DNA is expected to play an outstanding role in molecular electronics [1]. This is mainly due to its unique self-assembling and self-recognition properties which are essential for its performance as carrier of the genetic code. It is the long-standing hope of many scientists that these properties might be further exploited in the design of electronic circuits [2?6]. In the last decade of the 20th century, transfer experiments in natural DNA in solution showed unexpected high charge transfer rates [3,7-10]. That would imply that DNA might support charge transport. In contradistinction, electrical transport experiments carried out on single DNA molecules displayed a variety of possible behaviors: insulating [11, 12], semiconducting [13,14] and ohmic-like [15-18]. This variation might be traced to the high sensitivity of charge propagation in DNA to extrinsic (interaction with hard substrates, metal-molecule contacts, aqueous environment) as well as intrinsic (dynamical structure fluctuations, base-pair sequence) influences. Recently, experiments on single poly(GC) oligomers in aqueous solution [17] as well as on single suspended DNA with a more complex base sequence [14] have shown unexpectedly high currents of the order of 100-200 nA. Again these results, if further confirmed, suggest that DNA molecules may support rather high electrical currents given the right environmental condition. [...]

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online abstractarXiv preprint: 0707.3224
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Prof. Dr. Gianaurelio Cuniberti
Ms Sylvi Katzarow
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