Revealing electronic open quantum systems with subsystem TDDFT

Alisa Krishtal, Michele Pavanello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Open quantum systems (OQSs) are perhaps the most realistic systems one can approach through simulations. In recent years, describing OQSs with Density Functional Theory (DFT) has been a prominent avenue of research with most approaches based on a density matrix partitioning in conjunction with an ad-hoc description of system-bath interactions. We propose a different theoretical approach to OQSs based on partitioning of the electron density. Employing the machinery of subsystem DFT (and its time-dependent extension), we provide a novel way of isolating and analyzing the various terms contributing to the coupling between the system and the surrounding bath. To illustrate the theory, we provide numerical simulations on a toy system (a molecular dimer) and on a condensed phase system (solvated excimer). The simulations show that non-Markovian dynamics in the electronic system-bath interactions are important in chemical applications. For instance, we show that the superexchange mechanism of transport in donor-bridge-acceptor systems is a non-Markovian interaction between the donor-acceptor (OQS) with the bridge (bath) which is fully characterized by real-time subsystem time-dependent DFT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124118
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 28 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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