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J Chem Phys. 2004 Apr 15;120(15):6863-73.

Simulation of environmental effects on coherent quantum dynamics in many-body systems.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California 92697-2025, USA.


In this paper we describe an application of the trajectory-based semiclassical Liouville method for modeling coherent molecular dynamics on multiple electronic surfaces to the treatment of the evolution and decay of quantum electronic coherence in many-body systems. We consider a model representing the coherent evolution of quantum wave packets on two excited electronic surfaces of a diatomic molecule in the gas phase and in rare gas solvent environments, ranging from small clusters to a cryogenic solid. For the gas phase system, the semiclassical trajectory method is shown to reproduce the evolution of the electronic-nuclear coherence nearly quantitatively. The dynamics of decoherence are then investigated for the solvated systems using the semiclassical approach. It is found that, although solvation in general leads to more rapid and extensive loss of quantum coherence, the details of the coupled system-bath dynamics are important, and in some cases the environment can preserve or even enhance quantum coherence beyond that seen in the isolated system.

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