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 What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
17.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

nachricht Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural 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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>