Sie sind hier: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Jianshu Cao

Prof. Dr. Jianshu Cao

Massachusetts-Institut für Technologie (MIT)
Chemische Physik
External Senior Fellow
September 2020 - September 2022


Jianshu Cao is a professor of chemistry at MIT. He received a Ph. D. in physics from Columbia University in 1993. After postdoctoral research at University of Pennsylvania and then at UCSD, he jointed the MIT faculty in 1998.  He is primarily known for his work on condensed phase quantum dynamics and single molecule kinetics. His current research program consists of two components: (i) the development of theoretical and computational methods to model quantum dynamics in light-harvesting systems, organic semiconductors, moleculr junctions, and quantum devices, and (ii) the analysis of non-equilibrium chemical networks and its implications in biophysical processes.  Together with his collaborators, Jianshu Cao has developed an array of quantum dynamics methods, including centroid molecular dynamics (CMD), non-adiabatic instanton solution, optimal normal mode (ONM) method, stochastic path integrals (sPI), strong-field quantum control, waiting time formalism, transfer tensor method (TTM), and non-equilibrium polaron approach.

Over the last five years (2015-2019), the Cao group has published a total of 50 papers, including publications in Nature Communications, Nano Letters, PRL, JPC Letters, CHEM, and Chemical Sciences. Jianshu Cao has taught ‘non-equilibrium statistical mechanics’ for years at MIT, and his lecture notes on the subject are published on MIT Open-Course-Ware (OCW). He is actively involved in the scientific community, presenting talks n public lectures, organizing conferences, serving on editorial and review panels, and participating in student/scholar exchange programs. 

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • Tuning the Aharonov-Bohm effect with dephasing in nonequilibrium transport. G. Engelhardt and J. Cao, Phys. Rev. B99(7), 075436/1-12 (2019) 
  • A unified stochastic formulation of dissipative quantum dynamics. I. Generalized hierarchical equations. C.-Y. Hsieh and J. Cao, J. Chem. Phys.148(1), 014103/1-14 (2018)
  • Quantum diffusion on molecular tubes: Universal scaling of the 1D to 2D transition. C. Chuang, C. Lee, J. Moix, J. Knoester, and J. Cao, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 196803 (2016)
  • Nonequilibrium energy transfer at nanoscale: A unified theory from weak to strong coupling. C. Wang, R. Jie, and J. Cao, Sci. Rep. 5, 11787 (2015)
  • Generic mechanism of optimal energy transfer efficiency: A scaling theory of the mean first-passage time in exciton systems. J. Wu, R. Silbey, and J. Cao, Phys. Rev. Lett.110, 200402 (2013)


Light-harvesting Energy Transfer in Natural and Artificial Systems

The absorption, transport, and conversion of solar energy in the form of quasi-particles (i.e., photons, charges, excitons, and phonons) govern the basic function of natural and artificial light-harvesting processes --- from photosynthesis to photovoltaics. Photo-synthetic organisms, for example, funnel excitation energy with near-perfect efficiency from light-absorbing pigments to reaction centers. Such delicate and adaptive tuning of energy landscapes is equally desirable in photovoltaic devices but far more challenging to achieve. The overall goal of this proposal is to examine the structure-function relationships in both natural and artificial light-harvesting systems and thus develop a mechanistic understanding of the self-assembled structure in photosynthetic systems for the optimal design of organic semiconductors. 

The proposed project is theoretical and computational in nature and will involve the development of condensed phase quantum dynamics methods.  In particular, my group has been working on three approaches: stochastic path integral formalism and simulation; polaron transformed Redfield equation, and the mapping of quantum to kinetic networks, and will apply them to the proposed research.   In addition to the proposed project,  it would be mutually beneficial to discuss a broad spectrum of research topics, including non-equilibrium quantum transport, strong light-matter interaction, photon counting statistics, and quantum thermodynamics.