Transport and thermodynamics in quantum junctions: A scattering approach

Alexander Semenov, Abraham Nitzan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a scattering approach for the study of the transport and thermodynamics of quantum systems strongly coupled to their thermal environment(s). This formalism recovers the standard non-equilibrium Green's function expressions for quantum transport and reproduces recently obtained results for the quantum thermodynamics of slowly driven systems. Using this approach, new results have been obtained. First, we derived a general explicit expression for the non-equilibrium steady-state density matrix of a system composed of multiple infinite baths coupled through a general interaction. Then, we obtained a general expression for the dissipated power for the driven non-interacting resonant level to the first order in the driving speeds, where both the dot energy level and its couplings are changing, without invoking the wide-band approximation. In addition, we also showed that the symmetric splitting of the system bath interaction, employed for the case of a system coupled to one bath to determine the effective system Hamiltonian [A. Bruch et al., Phys. Rev. B 93, 115318 (2016)], is valid for the multiple bath case as well. Finally, we demonstrated an equivalence of our method to the Landauer-Buttiker formalism and its extension to slowly driven systems developed by Bruch, Lewenkopf, and von Oppen [Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 107701 (2018)]. To demonstrate the use of this formalism, we analyze the operation of a device in which the dot is driven cyclically between two leads under strong coupling conditions. We also generalize the previously obtained expression for entropy production in such driven processes to the many-bath case.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0010127
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2020


FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationCHE1665291
United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation
University of Pennsylvania
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftDFG TH 820/11-1
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation


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