A key insight from recent studies is that noise, such as dephasing, can improve the efficiency of quantum transport by suppressing coherent single-particle interference effects. However, it is not yet clear whether dephasing can enhance transport in an interacting many-body system. Here, we address this question by analyzing the transport properties of a boundary driven spinless fermion chain with nearest-neighbor interactions subject to bulk dephasing. The many-body nonequilibrium stationary state is determined using large-scale matrix product simulations of the corresponding quantum master equation. We find dephasing enhanced transport only in the strongly interacting regime, where it is shown to induce incoherent transitions bridging the gap between bound dark states and bands of mobile eigenstates. The generic nature of the transport enhancement is illustrated by a simple toy model, which contains the basic elements required for its emergence. Surprisingly, the effect is significant even in the linear response regime of the full system, and it is predicted to exist for any large and finite chain. The response of the system to dephasing also establishes a signature of an underlying nonequilibrium phase transition between regimes of transport degradation and enhancement. The existence of this transition is shown not to depend on the integrability of the model considered. As a result, dephasing enhanced transport is expected to persist in more realistic nonequilibrium strongly correlated systems.
|Journal||Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Jun 2013|