Quantum transport for a many-body system using a quantum Langevin-equation approach

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We treat the quantum transport of an interacting system of electrons, impurities, and phonons, in a time-dependent electric field, by using the quantum generalized Langevin equation (GLE), in which the system is shown to be equivalent to a quantum particle in a heat bath. We follow here the philosophy of Ford, Lewis, and O'Connell, who have demonstrated the usefulness of the GLE approach to heat-bath problems. The center of mass of the electrons acts like a quantum particle, while the relative electrons and phonons play the role of heat bath. They are coupled through the electron-impurity and electron-phonon interactions. After eliminating the heat-bath variables, the equation of motion for the quantum particle is written in a form of a quantum generalized Langevin equation, with a memory term which reflects the retarded effects of the heat bath on the quantum particle. The evaluation of the memory term immediately leads to a result for the susceptibility from which we can calculate the conductivity directly, in contrast to Kubo-type calculations which require the evaluation of correlation functions as an intermediate step. As a demonstration of the directness of our approach, we show that the usual random-phase- approximation conductivity results are easily derived. In addition, we derive an expression for the memory function, which incorporates higher-order electron-impurity scattering. © 1987 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review B

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