Revealing electronic open quantum systems with subsystem TDDFT

Alisa Krishtal, Michele Pavanello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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