A general approach to quantum dynamics using a variational master equation: Application to phonon-damped Rabi rotations in quantum dots

Dara P. S. McCutcheon, Nikesh S. Dattani, Erik M. Gauger, Brendon W. Lovett, Ahsan Nazir

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99 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a versatile master equation approach to describe the nonequilibrium dynamics of a two-level system in contact with a bosonic environment, which allows for the exploration of a wide range of parameter regimes within a single formalism. As an experimentally relevant example, we apply this technique to the study of excitonic Rabi rotations in a driven quantum dot, and compare its predictions to the numerical Feynman integral approach. We find excellent agreement between the two methods across a generally difficult range of parameters. In particular, the variational master equation technique captures effects usually considered to be nonperturbative, such as multiphonon processes and bath-induced driving renormalization, and can give reliable results even in regimes in which previous master equation approaches fail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number081305
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2011

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