Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Quantum equilibration of the double-proton transfer in a model system porphine

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There is a renewed interest in the derivation of statistical mechanics from the dynamics of closed quantum systems. A central part of this program is to understand how closed quantum systems, i.e., in the absence of a thermal bath, initialized far-from-equilibrium can share a dynamics that is typical to the relaxation towards thermal equilibrium. Equilibration dynamics has been traditionally studied with a focus on the so-called quenches of large-scale many-body systems. We consider here the equilibration of a two-dimensional molecular model system describing the double proton transfer reaction in porphine. Using numerical simulations, we show that equilibration indeed takes place very rapidly (∼200 fs) for initial states induced by pump-dump laser pulse control with energies well above the synchronous barrier. The resulting equilibration state is characterized by a strong delocalization of the probability density of the protons that can be explained, mechanistically, as the result of (i) an initial state consisting of a large superposition of vibrational states, and (ii) the presence of a very effective dephasing mechanism. This journal is