Nonmonotonic energy harvesting efficiency in biased exciton chains

S M Vlaming, V A Malyshev, J Knoester
Journal of Chemical Physics 2007 October 21, 127 (15): 154719
We theoretically study the efficiency of energy harvesting in linear exciton chains with an energy bias, where the initial excitation is taking place at the high-energy end of the chain and the energy is harvested (trapped) at the other end. The efficiency is characterized by means of the average time for the exciton to be trapped after the initial excitation. The exciton transport is treated as the intraband energy relaxation over the states obtained by numerically diagonalizing the Frenkel Hamiltonian that corresponds to the biased chain. The relevant intraband scattering rates are obtained from a linear exciton-phonon interaction. Numerical solution of the Pauli master equation that describes the relaxation and trapping processes reveals a complicated interplay of factors that determine the overall harvesting efficiency. Specifically, if the trapping step is slower than or comparable to the intraband relaxation, this efficiency shows a nonmonotonic dependence on the bias: it first increases when introducing a bias, reaches a maximum at an optimal bias value, and then decreases again because of dynamic (Bloch) localization of the exciton states. Effects of on-site (diagonal) disorder, leading to Anderson localization, are addressed as well.

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