Quantum bottlenecks and unidirectional energy flow in molecules

David M. Leitner, Hari Datt Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Quantum mechanical effects can enable energy to flow more efficiently in one direction along a molecule than in others. Ultrafast spectroscopic experiments on substituted benzenes [J. Phys. Chem. B 117, 10898 (2013)] reveal such an asymmetry in the flow of vibrational energy between the two chemical groups of the molecule, i.e., between the phenyl and the substituent. We examine theoretically energy flow in toluene, one of the substituted benzenes probed in the recent experiments, and show that quantum mechanical bottlenecks give rise to a preferred direction of energy flow in this molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-609
Number of pages9
JournalAnnalen der Physik
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • quantum localization
  • thermal rectification
  • vibrational energy flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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