Effective spin-orbit couplings in an analytical tight-binding model of DNA

Spin filtering and chiral spin transport

Solmar Varela, Vladimiro Mujica, Ernesto Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We derive a detailed analytical tight-binding (TB) model for a double helix emulating DNA with one type of nucleotide pair and a single oriented π orbital per base. The TB model incorporates both kinetic and intrinsic spin-orbit (ISO) contributions as well as Rashba-type interactions coupled to an external electric field along the axis of the double helix. The helical structure of the molecule renders the ISO first order in the interaction strength (in the meV range) as in carbon nanotubes. The coupling between the ISO and the chirality of the molecule is manifest in the effective coupling parameters while the Rashba coupling is only weakly dependent on structural chirality. A continuum model at half filling is derived where the dispersion is linear around the Fermi level. Spin transport can be completely solved in the case of ISO and the dominant Rashba type term. Spin selectivity is shown to exist for this minimal model (with features similar to recent experimental findings) when the double helix is biased and thus time reversal symmetry is broken. The model also display robustness toward scattering because of the chiral nature of the eigenstates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155436
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume93
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2016

Fingerprint

Orbits
DNA
deoxyribonucleic acid
orbits
helices
Chirality
chirality
Carbon Nanotubes
Molecules
Nucleotides
Fermi level
nucleotides
Carbon nanotubes
Electric fields
molecules
Scattering
broken symmetry
eigenvectors
selectivity
carbon nanotubes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

Effective spin-orbit couplings in an analytical tight-binding model of DNA : Spin filtering and chiral spin transport. / Varela, Solmar; Mujica, Vladimiro; Medina, Ernesto.

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Vol. 93, No. 15, 155436, 28.04.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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