Quantum transport under ac drive from the leads: A Redfield quantum master equation approach

Archak Purkayastha, Yonatan Dubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Evaluating the time-dependent dynamics of driven open quantum systems is relevant for a theoretical description of many systems, including molecular junctions, quantum dots, cavity-QED experiments, cold atoms experiments, and more. Here, we formulate a rigorous microscopic theory of an out-of-equilibrium open quantum system of noninteracting particles on a lattice weakly coupled bilinearly to multiple baths and driven by periodically varying thermodynamic parameters like temperature and chemical potential of the bath. The particles can be either bosonic or fermionic and the lattice can be of any dimension and geometry. Based on the Redfield quantum master equation under Born-Markov approximation, we derive a linear differential equation for an equal time two point correlation matrix, sometimes also called a single-particle density matrix, from which various physical observables, for example, current, can be calculated. Various interesting physical effects, such as resonance, can be directly read off from the equations. Thus, our theory is quite general and gives quite transparent and easy-to-calculate results. We validate our theory by comparing with exact numerical simulations. We apply our method to a generic open quantum system, namely, a double quantum dot coupled to leads with modulating chemical potentials. The two most important experimentally relevant insights from this are as follows: (i) Time-dependent measurements of current for symmetric oscillating voltages (with zero instantaneous voltage bias) can point to the degree of asymmetry in the system-bath coupling and (ii) under certain conditions time-dependent currents can exceed time-averaged currents by several orders of magnitude, and can therefore be detected even when the average current is below the measurement threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085425
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantum transport under ac drive from the leads: A Redfield quantum master equation approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this