Tunneling pathways in proteins: From biology to molecular electronics
A method is presented for the calculation of tunneling matrix elements for electron transfer in proteins. The concept of a tunneling pathway is introduced and its importance in mediating this coupling is described. Comments are presented on how, using the knowledge about electron transfer reactions, a molecular shift register memory has been designed. Similar to photosynthetic structures, these shift register memories have to separate charge (fast forward electron transfer) much faster than the charge separated states are able to recombine (slow reverse electron transfer). This device demonstrates the importance of understanding how controlled electron transfer reactions work for developing new kinds of technology.