2015: How does metastability look in a quantum world?


Novel description of quantum dynamics of open correlated systems is capable of modeling the surface catalysis and nanoelectronic devices.

The problem of a correlated quantum system coupled to the thermostat arises in a variety of areas which include quantum information technology, nanoelectronics and quantum chemistry. These systems are characterized by a non-linear coupling between different degrees of freedom and undergo a complex redistribution of energy when prepared out of equilibrium. As a result, their thermalization dynamics can reveal multiple time scales. An established experimental example is a cluster of coupled quantum dots on the surface of a solid substrate. We developed a novel description of the relaxation process, taking into account correlations and quantum interference effects in the quantum dot and the bidirectional flow of electrons between the dot and the substrate. We show the suppression of thermalization in the simplest case of a triangular cluster as the interaction between electronic degrees of freedom is increased. The dynamics is slowed because of the emergence of metastable states due to selection rules on transitions between many-body states of the system. We expect that our approach can be used to describe the tunneling microscopy experiments with small clusters, surface catalysis calculations etc.

The results of this work have been published in the paper: A.M.Shakirov, S.V. Tsibulsky, A.E. Antipov, Y.E. Shchadilova, A.N. Rubtsov, “Modelling the decay dynamics of metastable states in correlated structures”, Sci. Rep. 5, 8005 (2015).