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EPSRC Reference: EP/H025952/2
Title: Quantum spintronics using donors in isotopically engineered silicon
Principal Investigator: Morton, Professor JJL
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
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Department: London Centre for Nanotechnology
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 31 December 2012 Ends: 30 July 2013 Value (£): 11,846
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Magnetism/Magnetic Phenomena Materials Characterisation
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The exquisite control over materials fabrication and spin control techniques has reached a maturity where spintronics can go beyond purely classical effects and begin to fully exploit the unique quantum properties of superposition and entanglement. Potential applications arising from quantum spintronics range from quantum information processors, including the transmission of quantum information via itinerant electron spins, single microwave photon storage within spin ensembles, and new generation of sensors exploiting entanglement to yield fundamentally enhanced precision. Key ingredients for quantum spintronics include the preservation of spin coherence and the generation of high-purity entanglement. Through this collaborative research project, we propose to address both of these challenges using both the electron and nuclear spin of donors in isotopically engineered silicon. Our preliminary experiments show that such materials offer the greatest potential for high-purity entanglement and long coherence times, and their potential integration within conventional electronics is a further advantage.Through our initial collaboration, we have already demonstrated 'psuedo-entanglement' between the electron and nuclear spin associated with a P-donor in silicon at X-band (0.3 T) and 6K. We have used the fidelities which we achieved in those experiments to calculate thresholds for generating pure entanglement by this technique: for example moving to higher magnetic fields (>3.5T) and lower temperatures (<4K). We possess the major instrumentation to meet these requirements, and will demonstrate the controlled generation of pure spin entanglement within silicon as part of this project. We will then develop methods for preserving entanglement and understand the effect of spin transport.The isotopic purification of silicon to 28Si yields dramatic improvements in the donor electron spin coherence to tens of milliseconds. However, the nuclear spin is a powerful resource into which the coherent electron spin state may be temporarily stored and retrieved. We have demonstrated the use of the nuclear spin as a quantum memory in this way, yielding coherence times up to several seconds. We will understand the mechanisms for spin decoherence and, using materials refinement and active techniques such as dynamic decoupling and error-correction, we will push the limits of the longest spin coherences times in the solid state. The spin ensembles which we will be studying are capable of storing multiple bits of information in distributed states, analogous to holographic information storage. We shall build on our initial work, in which we stored and retrieved 100 coherent weak microwave excitations within an ensemble, to establish multimode quantum memories working i) at low applied magnetic fields ii) down to the single photon level iii) capable of storing coherent quantum states for several seconds.Throughout this project we will be performing an iterative development of instrumentation and materials: longer coherence times enabled by the isotopically engineered materials will push us to the limits of our instrumentation, and by improving the instrumentation we can then extract and understand intrinsic properties of the materials so that they may be further enhanced.At the end of the project we shall have established donor spins in isotopically engineered silicon as the forerunner material for quantum spintronics and demonstrated the essential components for a quantum spintronics device.
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