The conductivity of DNA in molecular junctions is often probed experimentally under dry conditions, but it is unclear how much of the solvent remains attached to the DNA and how this impacts its structure, electronic states, and conductivity. Classical MD simulations show that DNA is unstable if the solvent is removed completely, while a micro-hydrated system with few water molecules shows similar charge transport properties as fully solvated DNA does. This surprising effect is analyzed in detail by mapping the density functional theory-based electronic structure to a tight-binding Hamiltonian, allowing for an estimate of conductivity of various DNA sequences with snapshot-averaged Landauer's approach. The characteristics of DNA charge transport turn out to be determined by the nearest hydration shell(s), and the removal of bulk solvent has little effect on the transport.
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Research Article| September 27 2013
Charge transport in desolvated DNA
Mario Wolter, Marcus Elstner, Tomáš Kubař; Charge transport in desolvated DNA. J. Chem. Phys. 28 September 2013; 139 (12): 125102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4821594
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