Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Pitt researchers create nanoscale slalom course for electrons: Professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have created a serpentine path for electrons

Illustration of sketched serpentine nanowires created from lanthanum aluminate and strontium titanate. The side-to-side motion of the electrons as they travel gives them additional properties that can be used to make quantum devices

CREDIT
Jeremy Levy
Illustration of sketched serpentine nanowires created from lanthanum aluminate and strontium titanate. The side-to-side motion of the electrons as they travel gives them additional properties that can be used to make quantum devices CREDIT Jeremy Levy

Abstract:
A research team led by professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have created a serpentine path for electrons, imbuing them with new properties that could be useful in future quantum devices.

Pitt researchers create nanoscale slalom course for electrons: Professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have created a serpentine path for electrons

Pittsburgh, PA | Posted on November 27th, 2020

Jeremy Levy, a distinguished professor of condensed matter physics, and Patrick Irvin, research professor, are coauthors of the paper "Engineered spin-orbit interactions in LaAlO3/SrTiO3-based 1D serpentine electron waveguides," published in Science Advances on November 25.

"We already know how to shoot electrons ballistically through one-dimensional nanowires made from these oxide materials," explains Levy. "What is different here is that we have changed the environment for the electrons, forcing them to weave left and right as they travel. This motion changes the properties of the electrons, giving rise to new behavior."

The work is led by a recent PhD recipient, Dr. Megan Briggeman, whose thesis was devoted to the development of a platform for "quantum simulation" in one dimension. Briggeman is also the lead author on a related work published earlier this year in Science, where a new family of electronic phases was discovered in which electrons travel in packets of 2, 3, and more at a time.

Electrons behave very differently when forced to exist along a straight line (i.e., in one dimension). It is known, for example, that the spin and charge components of electrons can split apart and travel at different speeds through a 1D wire. These bizarre effects are fascinating and also important for the development of advanced quantum technologies such as quantum computers. Motion along a straight line is just one of a multitude of possibilities that can be created using this quantum simulation approach. This publication explores the consequences of making electrons weave side to side while they are racing down and otherwise linear path.

One recent proposal for topologically-protected quantum computation takes advantage of so-called "Majorana fermions", particles which can exist in 1D quantum wires when certain ingredients are present. The LaAlO3/SrTiO3 system, it turns out, has most but not all of the required interactions. Missing is a sufficiently strong "spin-orbit interaction" that can produce the conditions for Majorana fermions. One of the main findings of this latest work from Levy is that spin-orbit interactions can in fact be engineered through the serpentine motion that electrons are forced to undertake.

In addition to identifying new engineered spin-orbit couplings, the periodic repetition of the serpentine path creates new ways for electrons to interact with one another. The experimental result of this is the existence of fractional conductances that deviate from those expected for single electrons.

These slalom paths are created using a nanoscale sketching technique analogous to an Etch A Sketch toy, but with a point size that is a trillion times smaller in area. These paths can be sketched and erased over and over, each time creating a new type of path for electrons to traverse. This approach can be thought of as a way of creating quantum materials with re-programmable properties. Materials scientists synthesize materials in a similar fashion, drawing atoms from the periodic table and forcing them to arrange in periodic arrays. Here the lattice is artificial--one zig-zag of the motion takes place in a ten nanometer of space rather than a sub-nanometer atomic distance.

Levy, who is also director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, stated that this work contributes to one of the main goals of the Second Quantum Revolution, which is to explore, understand, and exploit the full nature of quantum matter. An improved understanding, and the ability to simulate the behavior of a wide range of quantum materials, will have wide-ranging consequences. "This research falls within a larger effort here in Pittsburgh to develop new science and technologies related to the second quantum revolution," he said.

###

In addition to Levy, Irvin, and Briggeman, Pitt research team members include Physics and Astronomy graduate students Jianan Li, and Mengchen Huang. Other team members include Hyungwoo Lee, now at Pusan National University in South Korea, and Jung-Woo Lee, Ki-Tae Eom, and Chang-Beom Eom, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Deborah Todd

Copyright © University of Pittsburgh

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

Hanging by a thread: Imaging and probing chains of single atoms: Scientists develop a method to visualize monoatomic chains and measure the strength and conductance of single-atom bonds May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

Physics

Quantum steering for more precise measurements April 23rd, 2021

Experiments cast doubts on the existence of quantum spin liquids April 21st, 2021

New nanoscale device for spin technology: Spin waves could unlock the next generation of computer technology, a new component allows physicists to control them April 16th, 2021

Atomic nuclei in the quantum swing: The extremely precise control of nuclear excitations opens up possibilities of ultra-precise atomic clocks and powerful nuclear batteries February 19th, 2021

D-Wave demonstrates performance advantage in quantum simulation of exotic magnetism: Fully-programmable annealing quantum computer demonstrates 3 million times speed-up over classical CPU in a practical application February 19th, 2021

Videos/Movies

Fast-acting, color-changing molecular probe senses when a material is about to fail March 25th, 2021

Synthetic biology reinvents development:The research team have used synthetic biology to develop a new type of genetic design that can reproduce some of the key processes that enable creating structures in natural systems, from termite nests to the development of embryos February 8th, 2021

Possible Futures

Emergence of a new heteronanostructure library May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

You're so vein: Scientists discover faster way to manufacture vascular materials May 14th, 2021

Announcements

Emergence of a new heteronanostructure library May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

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

Hanging by a thread: Imaging and probing chains of single atoms: Scientists develop a method to visualize monoatomic chains and measure the strength and conductance of single-atom bonds May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

Quantum nanoscience

Quantum steering for more precise measurements April 23rd, 2021

Shedding light on perovskite films: Efficient materials for future solar cells - New model to determine photoluminescence quantum efficiency March 16th, 2021

Scientists build the smallest cable containing a spin switch March 12th, 2021

Bringing Atoms to a Standstill: NIST Miniaturizes Laser Cooling January January 21st, 2021

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