Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Physicists localize 3-D matter waves for first time

Photo by
L. Brian Stauffer

An illustration of Anderson localization. The green balloons represent disordered barriers that localize the sound of the trumpet at its source.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

An illustration of Anderson localization. The green balloons represent disordered barriers that localize the sound of the trumpet at its source.

Abstract:
University of Illinois physicists have experimentally demonstrated for the first time how three-dimensional conduction is affected by the defects that plague materials. Understanding these effects is important for many electronics applications.

Physicists localize 3-D matter waves for first time

Champaign, IL | Posted on October 7th, 2011

Led by physics professor Brian DeMarco, the researchers achieved complete localization of quantum matter waves in three dimensions, first theorized roughly half a century ago. The group published its findings in the Oct. 7 issue of the journal Science.

Defects in materials are inevitable, but their effects are poorly understood. Understanding how disorder in a material affects waves traveling through it has implications for many applications, including ultrasonic waves in medical imaging, lasers for imaging and sensing, and electron waves for electronics and superconductors.

"The physics behind disorder is fundamental to understanding the impact of unavoidable material imperfections on these kinds of applications," DeMarco said.

Scientists have long theorized, but never observed, that strong disorder causing interference on all sides can trap a matter wave in one place, a phenomenon known as Anderson localization.

According to DeMarco, this is analogous to a trumpeter playing in a concert hall filled with randomly placed barriers that reflect sound waves. Instead of traveling in all directions, the sound stays at its source, never propagating outward because of destructive interference.

"The result? Perfect silence everywhere in the concert hall. The trumpeter blows into his instrument, but the sound never leaves the trumpet," DeMarco said. "That's exactly the case in our experiment, although we use quantum matter waves instead of sound, and the barriers are created using a speckled green laser beam."

To simulate electrons moving in waves through a metal, DeMarco's group uses ultra-cold atoms moving as matter waves in a disordered laser beam. Using laser light as an analogy for a material allows the researchers to completely characterize and control the disorder - a feat impossible in solids, which has made understanding and testing theories of Anderson localization difficult.
The researchers demonstrated that the laser light could completely localize the atoms - the first direct observation of three-dimensional Anderson localization of matter.

"This means that we can study Anderson localization in a way that is relevant to materials," DeMarco said. "Now, theories of Anderson localization in 3-D can be compared to our ‘material' and tested for the first time."

The team also measured the energy a particle needs to escape localization, known as the mobility edge. Waves with energy higher than the mobility edge are free to propagate throughout the disorder, but waves with energy lower than the mobility edge are completely localized - even when there is a path through the barriers.

By tuning the power of the speckled green laser beam, the researchers measured the relationship between the mobility edge and disorder strength. They found that as disorder increased, so did the mobility edge, meaning that materials with high concentrations of defects induce more localization.

DeMarco hopes to use the quantum-matter analogues to better understand and manipulate materials.

Eventually, he plans to use his measurements of Anderson localization and the mobility edge along with future work exploring other parameters to engineer materials to better perform specific applications - in particular, high-temperature superconductors.

"Comparing measurements on a solid to theory are complicated by our lack of knowledge of the disorder in the solid and our inability to remove it," DeMarco said. "But, that's exactly what we can do with our experiment, and what makes it so powerful and exciting."

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation supported this work.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Liz Ahlberg
Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-1073


Brian DeMarco
217-244-9848

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The paper, “Three-Dimensional Anderson Localization of Ultracold Matter,” is available online:

Related News Press

News and information

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Physics

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Halas wins American Physical Society's Lilienfeld Prize: Rice University nanoscientist honored for pioneering research in plasmonics October 23rd, 2017

A step closer to understanding quantum mechanics: Swansea University’s physicists develop a new quantum simulation protocol October 22nd, 2017

Superconductivity

Ames Laboratory, UConn discover superconductor with bounce October 25th, 2017

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes: Rice University toxicity study shows plant growth enhanced by -- but only by -- purified nanotubes December 6th, 2017

Chip Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat: Tiny structures could be next-generation solution for smaller electronic devices December 8th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Leti Integrates Hybrid III-V Silicon Lasers on 200mm Wafers with Standard CMOS Process December 6th, 2017

Discoveries

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Untangling DNA: Researchers filter the entropy out of nanopore measurements December 8th, 2017

Announcements

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Military

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft: MSU scientists are developing nanostructured gas sensors that would work at room temperature November 10th, 2017

Leti Joins DARPA-Funded Project to Develop Implantable Device for Restoring Vision November 9th, 2017

Nanoshells could deliver more chemo with fewer side effects: In vitro study verifies method for remotely triggering release of cancer drugs November 8th, 2017

Quantum nanoscience

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond: Shooting electrons at diamonds can introduce quantum sensors into them November 24th, 2017

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy: Lomonosov Moscow State University scientists have invented a new method of spectroscopy November 21st, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project