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Topological states and quantized current in helical molecules

Abstract

We report a theoretical study of electron transport along helical molecules under an external electric field, which is perpendicular to the helix axis of the molecule. Our results reveal that the topological states could appear in single-helical molecule and double-stranded DNA in the presence of the perpendicular electric field. And these topological states guarantee adiabatic charge pumping across the helical molecules by rotating the electric field in the transverse plane and the pumped current at zero bias voltage is quantized. In addition, the quantized current constitutes multiple plateaus by scanning the Fermi energy as well as the bias voltage, and hold for various model parameters, since they are topologically protected against perturbations. These results could motivate further experimental and theoretical studies in the electron transport through helical molecules, and pave the way to detect topological states and quantized current in the biological systems.Comment: 5 pages, 5 figure

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