Optimal efficiency of quantum transport in a disordered trimer

Fausto Borgonovi, Giulio Giuseppe Giusteri, Giuseppe Celardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Disordered quantum networks, such as those describing light-harvesting complexes, are often characterized by the presence of peripheral ringlike structures, where the excitation is initialized, and inner structures and reaction centers (RCs), where the excitation is trapped and transferred. The peripheral rings often display distinguished coherent features: Their eigenstates can be separated, with respect to the transfer of excitation, into two classes of superradiant and subradiant states. Both are important to optimize transfer efficiency. In the absence of disorder, superradiant states have an enhanced coupling strength to the RC, while the subradiant ones are basically decoupled from it. Static on-site disorder induces a coupling between subradiant and superradiant states, thus creating an indirect coupling to the RC. The problem of finding the optimal transfer conditions, as a function of both the RC energy and the disorder strength, is very complex even in the simplest network, namely, a three-level system. In this paper we analyze such trimeric structure, choosing as the initial condition an excitation on a subradiant state, rather than the more common choice of an excitation localized on a single site. We show that, while the optimal disorder is of the order of the superradiant coupling, the optimal detuning between the initial state and the RC energy strongly depends on system parameters: When the superradiant coupling is much larger than the energy gap between the superradiant and the subradiant levels, optimal transfer occurs if the RC energy is at resonance with the subradiant initial state, whereas we find an optimal RC energy at resonance with a virtual dressed state when the superradiant coupling is smaller than or comparable to the gap. The presence of dynamical noise, which induces dephasing and decoherence, affects the resonance structure of energy transfer producing an additional incoherent resonance peak, which corresponds to the RC energy being equal to the energy of the superradiant state
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)032136-N/A
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical review. E
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • excitonic transport
  • open quantum systems


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