Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


NRL researchers develop optical technique for controlling electron spins in quantum dot ensembles

Scientists are closer to developing novel devices for optics-based quantum computing and quantum information processing, as a result of a breakthrough in understanding how to make all the spins in an ensemble of quantum dots identical.

This understanding, based upon a new optical technique and announced recently by researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the University of Dortmund, and the University of Bochum, is an important step toward realization of such quantum devices based on solid-state technology. The complete findings of the study are published in the September 28, 2007, issue of the journal Science.

An electron spin localized in a quantum dot is the quantum bit, which is the basic unit for solid-state based quantum computing and quantum information processing. The spin replaces a classical digital bit, which can take on two values, usually labeled 0 and 1. The electron spin can also take on two values. However, since it is a quantum object, it can also take all values in between. Obviously, such a quantum unit can hold much more information than a classical one and, even more importantly the use of such quantum bits makes certain computer calculations exponentially more efficient than those using a standard computer. That is why, scientists around the world are trying to find an efficient way to control and manipulate the electron spin in a quantum dot in order to enable new quantum devises using magnetic and electric fields.

Until now, the major problem with using charged quantum dots in such devices is that the electron spins in different quantum dots are never identical. The electron spin precession frequencies in an external magnetic field are different from each other due to small variations of the quantum dot shape and size. In addition, the electron spin precession frequency has a contribution of a random hyperfine field of the nuclear spins in the quantum dot volume. This makes a coherent control and manipulation of electron spins in an ensemble of quantum dots impossible and pushes researchers to work with individual spins and to develop single spin manipulation techniques, which are much more complicated than an ensemble manipulation technique.

The team of researchers at the University of Dortmund, NRL and the University of Bochum has taken a significant step toward solving this problem by suggesting a new technique that would allow coherent manipulations of an ensemble of electron spins. Last year in a Science publication (Science, vol. 313, 341 (2006)), the same research team demonstrated a method, whereby a tailored periodic illumination with a pulsed laser can drive a large fraction of electron spins (up to 30%) in an ensemble of quantum dots into a synchronized motion. In the new Science publication, the team shows that almost the whole ensemble of electron spins (90%) precesses coherently under periodic resonant excitation. It turns out that the nuclear contribution to the electron spin precession acts constructively by focusing the electron spin precession in different quantum dots to a few precession modes controlled by the laser excitation protocol, instead of acting as a random perturbation of electron spins, as it was thought previously. The modification of the laser protocol should allow scientists to reach a situation in which all electron spins have the same precession frequency, in other words to make all spins identical.

Future efforts involving the use of these identical electron spins will focus on demonstrating all coherent single q-bit operations using an ensemble of charged quantum dots. Another important use of such ensembles for quantum computing will be the demonstration of a quantum-dot gate operation. The macroscopic coherent precession of the electron spin ensemble will allow scientists to study several optical coherent phenomena, such as electromagnetically induced transparency and slow light, for example.

NRL Public Affairs Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>