A landauer formula for bioelectronic applications

Eszter Papp, Dávid P. Jelenfi, Máté T. Veszeli, Gábor Vattay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent electronic transport experiments using metallic contacts attached to proteins identified some “stylized facts”, which contradict conventional wisdom that increasing either the spatial distance between the electrodes or the temperature suppresses conductance exponentially. These include nearly temperature-independent conductance over the protein in the 30 to 300 K range, distance-independent conductance within a single protein in the 1 to 10 nm range and an anomalously large conductance in the 0.1 to 10 nS range. In this paper, we develop a generalization of the low temperature Landauer formula, which can account for the joint effects of tunneling and decoherence and can explain these new experimental findings. We use novel approximations, which greatly simplify the mathematical treatment and allow us to calculate the conductance in terms of a handful macroscopic parameters, instead of the myriads of microscopic parameters describing the details of an atomic level quantum chemical computation. The new approach makes it possible to get predictions for the outcomes of new experiments without relying solely on high performance computing and can distinguish important and unimportant details of the protein structures from the point of view of transport properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number599
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



  • Conductance of biomolecules
  • Landauer fromula
  • Metallic contacts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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