Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electron spin control: Levitated nanodiamond is research gem

20.07.2016

Researchers have demonstrated how to control the "electron spin" of a nanodiamond while it is levitated with lasers in a vacuum, an advance that could find applications in quantum information processing, sensors and studies into the fundamental physics of quantum mechanics.


This is a schematic of an optical tweezer used in a vacuum chamber by Purdue University researchers, who controlled the "electron spin" of a levitated nanodiamond. The advance could find applications in quantum information processing, sensors and studies into the fundamental physics of quantum mechanics. (Purdue University image/ Tongcang Li) A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2016/Li-schematic.jpg

Credit: Purdue University image/ Tongcang Li

Electrons can be thought of as having two distinct spin states, "up" or "down." The researchers were able to detect and control the electron spin resonance, or its change from one state to the other.

"We've shown how to continuously flip the electron spin in a nanodiamond levitated in a vacuum and in the presence of different gases," said Tongcang Li, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy and electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

Findings are detailed in a research paper being published on Tuesday (July 19) in the journal Nature Communications. The electron spin resonance was shown to differ in the presence of helium and oxygen gases, meaning the technique could be used in a new type of sensor to detect and measure gases. Oxygen gas sensors are extensively used to monitor the oxygen concentration in automotive exhaust and in medical instruments such as anesthesia monitors and respirators. Nanodiamond-based sensors represent a potential improvement over conventional sensors.

"While more detailed studies are required to fully understand this phenomenon, our observation suggests a potential application for oxygen gas sensing," Li said.

The paper was authored by postdoctoral research associate Thai Hoang; doctoral students Jonghoon Ahn and Jaehoon Bang; and Li.

The levitating nanodiamonds also could find uses in quantum information processing, experimental techniques to probe fundamental physics in quantum mechanics, and the measurement of magnetic and gravitational fields, which could be applied to computer memory and experiments to search for deviations from Newton's law of gravitation. A Youtube video is available at https://youtu.be/0GX2z7OoIDI

Levitating the nanodiamonds in a vacuum enables precise control and rigorous measurement of the floating particles. The nanodiamonds are about 100 nanometers in diameter, or roughly the size of a virus, and contain "nitrogen vacancy centers" critical to potential practical applications. A nitrogen-vacancy center is an atomic-scale defect formed in the diamond lattice by substituting a nitrogen atom for a carbon atom and creating a neighboring void in the crystal lattice. Researchers can exploit this feature to control the electron spin.

One type of laser was used to "trap" and levitate the nanoparticle in a vacuum chamber, and another was used to monitor the electron spin. A millimeter-scale antenna delivers microwaves to control and flip the electron spin, and a spectrometer detects these changes in spin. A vacuum is needed to reduce interference from air molecules.

Quantum computers would take advantage of phenomena described by quantum theory called "superposition" and "entanglement." Computers based on quantum physics might dramatically increase the capacity to process, store and transmit information. One long-term goal of the Purdue research is to use the technique to test the famous Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, in which a cat may be both dead and alive at the same time.

"We want to put a single nanodiamond at two different locations at the same time," Li said.

###

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Writer:

Emil Venere
765-494-3470
venere@purdue.edu

Source:

Tongcang Li
765-494-0706
tcli@purdue.edu

Related website:

Tongcang Li's lab: https://sites.google.com/site/litongcang/

IMAGE CAPTION:

This is a schematic of an optical tweezer used in a vacuum chamber by Purdue University researchers, who controlled the "electron spin" of a levitated nanodiamond. The advance could find applications in quantum information processing, sensors and studies into the fundamental physics of quantum mechanics. (Purdue University image/ Tongcang Li)

A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2016/Li-schematic.jpg

PHOTO CAPTION:

This is a photo of a nanodiamond levitated in a vacuum chamber by Purdue University researchers who controlled its "electron spin, " an advance could find applications in quantum information processing, sensors and studies into the fundamental physics of quantum mechanics. (Purdue University image/Thai Hoang)

A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2016/Li-nanodiamond.jpg

ABSTRACT ONE

Electron spin control of optically levitated nanodiamonds in vacuum

Thai M. Hoang1, Jonghoon Ahn2, Jaehoon Bang2 & Tongcang Li1,2,3,4

1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA. 2School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA. 3Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA. 4Purdue Quantum Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.

Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to T.L. (email: tcli@purdue.edu).

Electron spins of diamond nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres are important quantum resources for nanoscale sensing and quantum information. Combining NV spins with levitated optomechanical resonators will provide a hybrid quantum system for novel applications. Here we optically levitate a nanodiamond and demonstrate electron spin control of its built-in NV centres in low vacuum. We observe that the strength of electron spin resonance (ESR) is enhanced when the air pressure is reduced. To better understand this system, we investigate the effects of trap power and measure the absolute internal temperature of levitated nanodiamonds with ESR after calibration of the strain effect. We also observe that oxygen and helium gases have different effects on both the photoluminescence and the ESR contrast of nanodiamond NV centres, indicating potential applications of NV centres in oxygen gas sensing. Our results pave the way towards a levitated spin-optomechanical system for studying macroscopic quantum mechanics.

Note to Journalists: An electronic copy of the research paper is available by contacting press@nature.com or Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu. Video is available at https://goo.gl/JDQzi6 and a Youtube video is available at https://youtu.be/0GX2z7OoIDI

Media Contact

emil venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709

 @PurdueUnivNews

http://www.purdue.edu/ 

emil venere | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

nachricht New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
26.04.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Millions through license revenues

27.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today

27.04.2017 | Information Technology

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>