27 January 2012

Nanotechnology enables new platform for spin physics

Researchers have developed a new platform that could potentially control single electron spins in a more coherent way than any solid state system.

The discovery may have potential impact for the information technology, electronic device industry, memory storage system and novel energy conversion technology. The new platform for spin physics and quantum information has been discovered by a team from Harvard University.

The researchers initially produced a novel one dimensional material with germanium and silicon wrapped out coaxially, forming high mobility carries inside. Following the materials synthesis, they fabricated tiny devices within the order of hundreds of nanometer scale to confine single electrons, where the intrinsic property of electron - 'spin', was used to store information.

The system is called quantum bit and eventually, the interaction and lifetime of quantum bits were probed by low temperature cryogenics and Gigahertz frequency electronics. According to the report, the new system increases quantum state lifetime by 1000 fold that previously used materials and could serve as a promising platform for next generation quantum information storage. The researchers believe that it could even replace the current material systems such as Geranium Arsenal.

This research is exploring the new platform using most frontier techniques in nanotechnology, including nanomaterial synthesis, nanodevice fabrication and quantum spectroscopy.
Harvard University's work appears in Nature research journal.

Chris Shaw

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