Bistability in a nonequilibrium quantum system with electron-phonon interactions

Eli Y. Wilner*, Haobin Wang, Guy Cohen, Michael Thoss, Eran Rabani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045137
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2013


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