We present in detail a method we recently introduced [Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 176404 (2009)] to describe finite systems in and out of equilibrium, where the evolution in time is performed via the Kadanoff-Baym equations within many-body perturbation theory. Our systems consist of small, strongly correlated clusters, described by a Hubbard Hamiltonian within the Hartree-Fock, second Born, GW, and T-matrix approximations. We compare the results from the Kadanoff-Baym dynamics to those from exact numerical solutions. The outcome of our comparisons is that, among the many-body schemes considered, the T-matrix approximation is superior at low electron densities while none of the tested approximations stands out at half filling. Such comparisons permit a general assessment of the whole idea of applying many-body perturbation theory, in the Kadanoff-Baym sense, to finite systems. A striking outcome of our analysis is that when the system evolves under a strong external field, the Kadanoff-Baym equations develop a steady-state solution as a consequence of a correlation-induced damping. This damping is present both in isolated (finite) systems, where it is purely artificial, as well as in clusters contacted to (infinite) macroscopic leads. The extensive numerical characterization we performed indicates that this behavior is present whenever approximate self-energies, which include correlation effects, are used. Another important result is that, for isolated clusters, the steady state reached is not unique but depends on how one switches on the external field. When the clusters are coupled to macroscopic leads, one may reach multiple quasisteady states with arbitrarily long lifetimes.
|Tidskrift||Physical Review B (Condensed Matter and Materials Physics)|
|Status||Published - 2010|
- Den kondenserade materiens fysik