We present expressions for rates of radiationless transitions in two-level systems with arbitrary coupling to a set of damped vibrational modes; calculations are limited to transitions slower than vibrational relaxation. Explicit results are discussed within the harmonic approximation and Condon approximation; systematic methods are introduced for treating non-Condon and anharmonic effects. Results relevant to experiment are (1) significant deviations from the energy-gap law when a small number of vibrational modes is coupled to the transition, (2) dependence of transition rate on homogeneous and inhomogeneous vibrational linewidths, (3) nonexponential decay for transitions with vibrational frequency shifts, and (4) persistence of electronic coherence for long times either at low temperature or when frequency shifts are small. Our approach differs from previous work in the partitioning of the Hamiltonian and in the methods of evaluating operator averages; these differences are discussed in relation to the adiabatic approximation and the irreversibility of the transition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics