Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Spintronics approach enables new quantum technologies

This artistís rendering shows all-optical control of an individual electronic spin within a diamond. This spin is associated with a naturally occurring defect in diamond known as the nitrogen-vacancy center, a promising quantum bit (qubit) for quantum information processing. The University of Chicagoís David Awschalom and his associates have developed techniques to initialize, manipulate, and read out the electronic spin of this qubit using only pulses of light.
Illustration by Peter Allen
This artistís rendering shows all-optical control of an individual electronic spin within a diamond. This spin is associated with a naturally occurring defect in diamond known as the nitrogen-vacancy center, a promising quantum bit (qubit) for quantum information processing. The University of Chicagoís David Awschalom and his associates have developed techniques to initialize, manipulate, and read out the electronic spin of this qubit using only pulses of light.

Illustration by Peter Allen

Abstract:
A team of researchers, including members of the University of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering, highlight the power of emerging quantum technologies in two recent papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These technologies exploit quantum mechanics, the physics that dominates the atomic world, to perform disparate tasks such as nanoscale temperature measurement and processing quantum information with lasers.

Spintronics approach enables new quantum technologies

Chicago, IL | Posted on June 4th, 2013

The two papers are both based on the manipulation of the same material, an atomic-scale defect in diamond known as the nitrogen vacancy center. Both works also leverage the intrinsic "spin" of this defect for the applications in temperature measurement and information processing. This spintronics approach involves understanding and manipulating the spin of electronics for technological advancement.

"These studies build on research efforts undertaken over the last 20 years to isolate and control single electronic spins in the solid state," said David Awschalom, a principle investigator on both papers and a Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at UChicago. "Much of the initial motivation for working in this field was driven by the desire to make new computing technologies based on the principles of quantum physics. In recent years the research focus has broadened as we've come to appreciate that these same principles could enable a new generation of nanoscale sensors."
Controlling qubits with light

In one PNAS paper posted April 22 and published in the May 7 print edition, Awschalom and six co-authors at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Konstanz describe a technique that offers new routes toward the eventual creation of quantum computers, which would possess far more capability than modern classical computers.

In this application, Awschalom's team has developed protocols to fully control the quantum state of the defect with light instead of electronics. The quantum state of interest in this defect is its electronic spin, which acts as quantum bit, or qubit, the basic unit of a quantum computer. In classical computers, bits of information exist in one of only two states: zero or one. In the quantum mechanical realm, objects can exist in multiple states at once, enabling more complex processing.

This all-optical scheme for controlling qubits in semiconductors "obviates the need to have microwave circuits or electronic networks," Awschalom said. "Instead, everything can be done solely with photons, with light."

As a fully optical method, it shows promise as a more scalable approach to qubit control. In addition, this scheme is more versatile than conventional methods and could be used to explore quantum systems in a broad range of materials that might otherwise be difficult to develop as quantum devices.
Single spin thermometers

The quantum thermometer application, reported in a PNAS contribution posted online May 6 and published in the May 21 print edition, represents a new direction for the manipulation of quantum states, which is more commonly linked to computing, communications, and encryption. In recent years, defect spins had also emerged as promising candidates for nanoscale sensing of magnetic and electric fields at room temperature. With thermometry now added to the list, Awschalom foresees the possibility of developing a multifunctional probe based on quantum physics.

"With the same sensor you could measure magnetic fields, electric fields and now temperature, all with the same probe in the same place at approximately the same time," he said. "Perhaps most importantly, since the sensor is an atomic-scale defect that could be contained within nanometer-scale particles of diamond, you can imagine using this system as a thermometer in challenging environments such as living cells or microfluidic circuits."

The key aspect of this innovation is the development of control techniques for manipulating the spin that make it a much more sensitive probe of temperature shifts. "We've been exploring the potential of defect spins for thermometry for the past few years," said David Toyli, a graduate student in physics at UCSB and lead author of the temperature sensing work.

"This latest work is exciting because we've succeeded in adapting techniques used for stabilizing quantum information to measuring temperature-dependent changes in the quantum states. These techniques minimize the effects of environmental noise and allow us to make much more sensitive temperature measurements."

The team of researchers, also including Slava Dobrovitski of the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory in Iowa, conducted experiments to determine the temperature range over which the spins could operate as a useful thermometer. It turns out that the particle spins can operate quite well at a wide temperature range, from room temperature to 500 degrees Kelvin (approximately 70 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit).

The chemical properties of a diamond-based thermometer also support the idea that this system could be useful for measuring temperature gradients in biological systems, such as the interior of living cells, Awschalom said. But the initial studies suggest the method is so flexible that it probably lends itself to uses yet to be imagined. "Like any new technology development, the exciting thing is what people will do with this now."

Citations

"All-optical control of a solid-state spin using coherent dark states," by Christopher G. Yale, Bob B. Buckley, David J. Christle, Guido Burkard, F. Joseph Heremans, Lee C. Bassett, and David D. Awschalom, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, No. 19, May 7, 2013, pages 7595-7600, originally published online April 22, 2013.

"Fluorescence thermometry enhanced by the quantum coherence of single spins in diamond," by David M. Toyli, Charles F. de las Casas, David J. Christle, Viatcheslav V. Dobrovitski, and David D. Awschalom, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, No. 21, May 21, 2013, pages 8417-8421, originally published

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Steve Koppes

773-702-8366

Copyright © University of Chicago

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 News Press

News and information

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Physics

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Theory gives free rein to superconductivity at room temperature May 28th, 2018

Scientists Pinpoint Energy Flowing Through Vibrations in Superconducting Crystals: Interactions between electrons and the atomic structure of high-temperature superconductors impacted by elusive and powerful vibrations May 4th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Spintronics

Diamonds show promise for spintronic devices: New experiments demonstrate the potential for diamond as a material for spintronics January 30th, 2018

Researchers from TU Delft combine spintronics and nanophotonics in 2-D material January 25th, 2018

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum Computing

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory: A process similar to guitar tuning improves storage time of quantum memory May 24th, 2018

Deeper understanding of quantum chaos may be the key to quantum computers May 16th, 2018

Discoveries

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Camouflaged nanoparticles used to deliver killer protein to cancer June 17th, 2018

Announcements

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Military

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

Tripling the Energy Storage of Lithium-Ion Batteries: Scientists have synthesized a new cathode material from iron fluoride that surpasses the capacity limits of traditional lithium-ion batteries June 14th, 2018

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

Quantum nanoscience

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Detecting the birth and death of a phonon June 7th, 2018

Quantum Interference May Be Key to Smaller Insulators: Breakthrough could jumpstart further miniaturization of transistors June 6th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project