Electron transfer mechanism and the locality of the system-bath interaction: A comparison of local, semilocal, and pure dephasing models

Emily A. Weiss, Gil Katz, Randall H. Goldsmith, Michael R. Wasielewski, Mark A. Ratner, Ronnie Kosloff, Abraham Nitzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


We simulate the effects of two types of dephasing processes, a nonlocal dephasing of system eigenstates and a dephasing of semilocal eigenstates, on the rate and mechanism of electron transfer (eT) through a series of donor-bridge-acceptor systems, D- BN -A, where N is the number of identical bridge units. Our analytical and numerical results show that pure dephasing, defined as the perturbation of system eigenstates through the system-bath interaction, does not disrupt coherent eT because it induces no localization; electron transfer may proceed through superexchange in a system undergoing only pure dephasing. A more physically reasonable description may be obtained via a system-bath interaction that reflects the perturbation of more local electronic structure by local nuclear distortions and dipole interactions. The degree of locality of this interaction is guided by the structure of the system Hamiltonian and by the nature of the measurement performed on the system (i.e., the nature of the environment). We compare our result from this "semilocal" model with an even more local phenomenological dephasing model. We calculate electron transfer rate by obtaining nonequilibrium steady-state solutions for the elements of a reduced density matrix; a semigroup formalism is used to write down the dissipative part of the equation of motion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074501
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this