Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > First report of real-time manipulation and control of nuclear spin noise

Abstract:
Basel Physicists in collaboration with Dutch researchers have demonstrated a new method for polarizing nuclear spins in extremely small samples. By Monitoring and controlling spin fluctuations, the method may provide a route for enhancing the resolution of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the nanometer-scale, allowing researchers to make 3D images of smaller objects than ever before. The results have been published in the journal «Nature Physics».

First report of real-time manipulation and control of nuclear spin noise

Basel, Switzerland | Posted on August 26th, 2013

Many of the elements that make up the matter around us, such as hydrogen or phosphorus, contain a magnetic nucleus at the center of each atom. This nucleus acts like a tiny magnet with a north and south pole. By applying a large magnetic field, the poles of these nuclei align along the magnetic field, producing a so-called nuclear spin polarization.

When the nuclei are irradiated with electromagnetic impulses (radio waves) at a very specific frequency, they change their direction away from the magnetic field. Because they are magnetic, the nuclei then start turning back. As they do so, they emit the energy they had previously absorbed through the radio waves. With a special antenna these signals can be detected.

This method is called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and can provide very useful information about a sample, such as its chemical composition or structure. The method also forms the basis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can make 3D images of the density of an object and is often used on patients in hospitals.

However, for very small objects (i.e. smaller than a single cell) containing a small number of nuclei, the natural fluctuations of the nuclear spin polarization actually become larger than the polarization produced by a large magnetic field. These deviations are known as «spin noise». The fact that spin noise is so dominant at small scales is one of the reasons why measuring NMR and MRI in very small objects is so difficult.

Monitoring, controlling and capturing
The team led by Prof. Martino Poggio from the University of Basel in Switzerland has now demonstrated, together with scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, a method for creating polarization order from such random fluctuations. By monitoring, controlling, and capturing statistical spin fluctuations, the team produced polarizations that were much larger than what can be created by applying a magnetic field.

This is the first report of the real-time manipulation, control, and capture of fluctuations arising from nuclear spin noise. The results are immediately relevant to recent technical advances that have dramatically reduced the possible detection volumes of NMR measurements. «Improved understanding of these phenomena may lead to new high resolution nano- and atomic-scale imaging techniques», explains Poggio. The Basel method may provide a route for enhancing the sensitivity of nanometer-scale magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or possibly for the implementation of solid-state quantum computers.

Further Implications
The method's ability to reduce nuclear spin polarization fluctuations may also be useful to enhance the coherence time of solid-state qubits. Qubits are units of quantum information used in quantum computers. Qubits implemented in the solid-state - especially in structures called quantum dots - are very susceptible to fluctuations in nuclear polarization: even tiny variations in the nuclear polarization destroy a qubit's coherence. Therefore, the ability to control these fluctuations may extend qubit coherence times and thus help in the on-going development of solid-state quantum computers. Poggio points out that his «approach to capture and store spin fluctuations is generally applicable to any technique capable of detecting and addressing nanometer-scale volumes of nuclear spins in real-time».

The study was supported by the Canton Aargau, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), and the National Center of Competence in Research for Quantum Science and Technology (QSIT).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Olivia Poisson


University of Basel
Communications Office
Petersgraben 35, Postfach
4003 Basel
Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 267 30 17
Fax +41 61 267 30 13

Copyright © University of Basel

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

Original Citation

doi: 10.1038/nphys2731:

Related News Press

News and information

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Physics

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Imaging

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Quantum Computing

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

Tiny camera lens may help link quantum computers to network September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Could a demon help to create a quantum computer? Physicists implement a version of Maxwell's famous thought experiment for reducing entropy September 5th, 2018

Discoveries

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Announcements

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

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

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 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