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Entanglement measures in a nonequilibrium steady state: Exact results in one dimension

Shachar Fraenkel, Moshe Goldstein

SciPost Phys. 11, 085 (2021) · published 29 October 2021

Abstract

Entanglement plays a prominent role in the study of condensed matter many-body systems: Entanglement measures not only quantify the possible use of these systems in quantum information protocols, but also shed light on their physics. However, exact analytical results remain scarce, especially for systems out of equilibrium. In this work we examine a paradigmatic one-dimensional fermionic system that consists of a uniform tight-binding chain with an arbitrary scattering region near its center, which is subject to a DC bias voltage at zero temperature. The system is thus held in a current-carrying nonequilibrium steady state, which can nevertheless be described by a pure quantum state. Using a generalization of the Fisher-Hartwig conjecture, we present an exact calculation of the bipartite entanglement entropy of a subsystem with its complement, and show that the scaling of entanglement with the length of the subsystem is highly unusual, containing both a volume-law linear term and a logarithmic term. The linear term is related to imperfect transmission due to scattering, and provides a generalization of the Levitov-Lesovik full counting statistics formula. The logarithmic term arises from the Fermi discontinuities in the distribution function. Our analysis also produces an exact expression for the particle-number-resolved entanglement. We find that although to leading order entanglement equipartition applies, the first term breaking it grows with the size of the subsystem, a novel behavior not observed in previously studied systems. We apply our general results to a concrete model of a tight-binding chain with a single impurity site, and show that the analytical expressions are in good agreement with numerical calculations. The analytical results are further generalized to accommodate the case of multiple scattering regions.


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