From non-Markovian dissipation to spatiotemporal control of quantum nanodevices

Thibaut Francois Marie Lacroix, Brendon William Lovett*, Alex W. Chin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanodevices exploiting quantum effects are critically important elements of future quantum technologies (QT), but their real-world performance is strongly limited by decoherence arising from local `environmental' interactions. Compounding this, as devices become more complex, i.e. contain multiple functional units, the `local' environments begin to overlap, creating the possibility of environmentally mediated decoherence phenomena on new time-and-length scales. Such complex and inherently non-Markovian dynamics could present a challenge for scaling up QT, but – on the other hand – the ability of environments to transfer `signals' and energy might also enable sophisticated spatiotemporal coordination of inter-component processes, as is suggested to happen in biological nanomachines, like enzymes and photosynthetic proteins. Exploiting numerically exact many body methods (tensor networks) we study a fully quantum model that allows us to explore how propagating environmental dynamics can instigate and direct the evolution of spatially remote, non-interacting quantum systems. We demonstrate how energy dissipated into the environment can be remotely harvested to create transient excited/reactive states, and also identify how reorganisation triggered by system excitation can qualitatively and reversibly alter the `downstream' kinetics of a `functional' quantum system. With access to complete system-environment wave functions, we elucidate the microscopic processes underlying these phenomena, providing new insight into how they could be exploited for energy efficient quantum devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1305
Number of pages23
Early online date3 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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