The existence of more than one steady state in a many-body quantum system driven out of equilibrium has been a matter of debate, both in the context of simple impurity models and in the case of inelastic tunneling channels. In this paper, we combine a reduced density matrix formalism with the multilayer multiconfiguration time-dependent Hartree method to address this problem. This allows us to obtain a converged numerical solution of the nonequilibrium dynamics. Considering a generic model for quantum transport through a quantum dot with electron-phonon interaction, we prove that a unique steady state exists regardless of the initial electronic preparation of the quantum dot, consistent with the converged numerical results. However, a bistability can be observed for different initial phonon preparations. The effects of the phonon frequency and strength of the electron-phonon couplings on the nonequilibrium dynamics and on the emergence of bistability is discussed.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - 31 Jul 2013|