Spin-Polarized Electron Transmission in DNA-Like Systems

Sierra, M. A.; Sánchez, D.; Gutiérrez, R.; Cuniberti, G.; Domínguez-Adame, F.; Díaz, E.
Biomolecules 10, 49 (1-10) (2020)

The helical distribution of the electronic density in chiral molecules, such as DNA and bacteriorhodopsin, has been suggested to induce a spin–orbit coupling interaction that may lead to the so-called chirality-induced spin selectivity (CISS) effect. Key ingredients for the theoretical modelling are, in this context, the helically shaped potential of the molecule and, concomitantly, a Rashba-like spin–orbit coupling due to the appearance of a magnetic field in the electron reference frame. Symmetries of these models clearly play a crucial role in explaining the observed effect, but a thorough analysis has been largely ignored in the literature. In this work, we present a study of these symmetries and how they can be exploited to enhance chiral-induced spin selectivity in helical molecular systems.

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