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Spin-polarized electron transmission in DNA-like systems

Miguel A. Sierra, David Sanchez, Rafael Gutierrez, Gianaurelio Cuniberti, Francisco Dominguez-Adame, Elena Diaz

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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ArXiv number: 1912.13271 DOI: 10.3390/biom10010049