Quantifying environmental effects on the decay of hole transfer couplings in biosystems

Pablo Ramos, Michele Pavanello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In the past two decades, many research groups worldwide have tried to understand and categorize simple regimes in the charge transfer of such biological systems as DNA. Theoretically speaking, the lack of exact theories for electron-nuclear dynamics on one side and poor quality of the parameters needed by model Hamiltonians and nonadiabatic dynamics alike (such as couplings and site energies) on the other are the two main difficulties for an appropriate description of the charge transfer phenomena. In this work, we present an application of a previously benchmarked and linear-scaling subsystem density functional theory (DFT) method for the calculation of couplings, site energies, and superexchange decay factors (β) of several biological donor-acceptor dyads, as well as double stranded DNA oligomers composed of up to five base pairs. The calculations are all-electron and provide a clear view of the role of the environment on superexchange couplings in DNA-they follow experimental trends and confirm previous semiempirical calculations. The subsystem DFT method is proven to be an excellent tool for long-range, bridge-mediated coupling and site energy calculations of embedded molecular systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2546-2556
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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