An international consortium led by researchers at the University of Basel has developed a method to precisely alter the quantum mechanical states of electrons within an array of quantum boxes. The method can be used to investigate the interactions between various types of atoms and electrons, which is essential for future quantum technologies, as the group reports in the journal Small.
Applications of quantum mechanics are often compromised by the fundamental property of quanta: any measurement inevitably modifies the measured state. Technologies such as quantum computers can be designed only on the basis of known, clearly defined and simple interactions between individual components.
The Department of Physics at the University of Basel together with the Swiss Nanoscience Institute has now developed a method that can be used to study these kinds of interactions in a well-defined system.
Similar to a breadboard in electrical engineering
Breadboards are used in electronic measurement technology to design and test prototypes of electronic circuits and for teaching purposes. The procedure developed by the international consortium led by Prof. Thomas Jung of the University of Basel works in a similar way: for the first time, the new method allows researchers to configure a network of quantum boxes in order to form various quantum electronic states.
A quantum box is an artificially produced structure that restricts a particle’s movements, so that it can move in only two dimensions. This reduces the complexity of a particle interaction and simplifies the process of measurement and analysis.
The research team refined an established method in which atoms are repositioned one after the other using scanning tunneling microscopy, allowing the creation of clearly defined quantum sys-tems. Through the targeted relocating of xenon atoms in quantum boxes, the team succeeded in generating different patterns that correspond to a wide range of quantum states.
Essential tool for quantum technology
The development of quantum technology relies on a detailed understanding of the interdependence between different electronic states; for example, in various atoms. With the physicists’ method, quantum states can be accurately reproduced and interactions between various chemical elements and well-defined electronic states examined – an “unlimited playing field for the study of quantum states”, as the researchers write in Small.
A range of institutions contributed to the project’s success: the theory was outlined by researchers from Linköping (Sweden), the molecules used were synthesized in Heidelberg (Germany), and scientists from San Sebastián (Spain) were responsible for some of the complex measurements of the specific quantum states.
Sylwia Nowakowska, Aneliia Wäckerlin, Ignacio Piquero-Zulaica, Jan Nowakowski, Shigeki Kawai, Christian Wäckerlin, Manfred Matena, Thomas Nijs, Shadi Fatayer, Olha Popova, Aisha Ahsan, S. Fatameh Mousavi, Toni Ivas, Ernst Meyer, Meike Stöhr, J. Enrique Ortega, Jonas Björk, Lutz H. Gade, Jorge Lobo-Checa, and Thomas A. Jung
Configuring Electronic States in an Atomically Precise Array of Quantum Boxes
Small 2016,00, 1–6 | doi: 10.1002/smll.201600915
Prof. Thomas A. Jung, University of Basel, Nanolab, tel: +41 56 310 45 18, email: email@example.com.
Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel
From the cosmos to fusion plasmas, PPPL presents findings at global APS gathering
13.11.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
A two-atom quantum duet
12.11.2018 | Institute for Basic Science
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences
14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences