Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Subatomic quantum memory in diamond demonstrated

Date:
June 28, 2011
Source:
University of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
Physicists have developed a breakthrough in the use of diamond in quantum physics, marking an important step toward quantum computing.

Greg Fuchs of University of California - Santa Barbara.
Credit: UCSB

Physicists working at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Konstanz in Germany have developed a breakthrough in the use of diamond in quantum physics, marking an important step toward quantum computing. The results are reported in this week's online edition of Nature Physics.

The physicists were able to coax the fragile quantum information contained within a single electron in diamond to move into an adjacent single nitrogen nucleus, and then back again using on-chip wiring.

"This ability is potentially useful to create an atomic-scale memory element in a quantum computer based on diamond, since the subatomic nuclear states are more isolated from destructive interactions with the outside world," said David Awschalom, senior author. Awschalom is director of UCSB's Center for Spintronics & Quantum Computation, professor of physics, electrical and computer engineering, and the Peter J. Clarke director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

Awschalom said the discovery shows the high-fidelity operation of a quantum mechanical gate at the atomic level, enabling the transfer of full quantum information to and from one electron spin and a single nuclear spin at room temperature. The process is scalable, and opens the door to new solid-state quantum device development.

Scientists have recently shown that it is possible to synthesize thousands of these single electron states with beams of nitrogen atoms, intentionally creating defects to trap the single electrons. "What makes this demonstration particularly exciting is that a nitrogen atom is a part of the defect itself, meaning that these sub-atomic memory elements automatically scale with the number of logical bits in the quantum computer," said lead author Greg Fuchs, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSB.

Rather than using logical elements like transistors to manipulate digital states like "0" or "1," a quantum computer needs logical elements capable of manipulating quantum states that may be "0" and "1" at the same time. Even at ambient temperature, these defects in diamond can do exactly that, and have recently become a leading candidate to form a quantum version of a transistor.

However, there are still major challenges to building a diamond-based quantum computer. One of these is finding a method to store quantum information in a scalable way. Unlike a conventional computer, where the memory and the processor are in two different physical locations, in this case they are integrated together, bit-for-bit.

"We knew that the nitrogen nuclear spin would be a good choice for a scalable quantum memory -- it was already there," said Fuchs. "The hard part was to transfer the state quickly, before it is lost to decoherence."

Awschalom explained: "A key breakthrough was to use a unique property of quantum physics -- that two quantum objects can, under special conditions, become mixed to form a new composite object." By mixing the quantum spin state of the electrons in the defect with the spin state of the nitrogen nucleus for a brief time -- less than 100 billionths of a second -- information that was originally encoded in the electrons is passed to the nucleus.

"The result is an extremely fast transfer of the quantum information to the long-lived nuclear spin, which could further enhance our capabilities to correct for errors during a quantum computation," said co-author Guido Burkard, a theoretical physicist at the University of Konstanz, who developed a model to understand the storage process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. D. Fuchs, G. Burkard, P. V. Klimov, D. D. Awschalom. A quantum memory intrinsic to single nitrogen–vacancy centres in diamond. Nature Physics, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nphys2026

Cite This Page:

University of California - Santa Barbara. "Subatomic quantum memory in diamond demonstrated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627151724.htm>.
University of California - Santa Barbara. (2011, June 28). Subatomic quantum memory in diamond demonstrated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627151724.htm
University of California - Santa Barbara. "Subatomic quantum memory in diamond demonstrated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627151724.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins