Awschalom Group: Current Research

Spin Dynamics and Quantum Information Processing in the Solid State

Our group is primarily concerned with understanding electron and nuclear spin dynamics in semiconductors and engineering quantum states for information processing and sensing applications. Our experimental program combines quantum optics with electron-spin resonance, materials engineering, and nanofabrication. We are focused on developing experimental tools and uncovering new systems that could expand the technological impact of quantum coherence in the solid state. Certain point defects in semiconductors, such as the nitrogen vacancy center in diamond or the neutral divacancy in silicon carbide, exhibit long-lived spin coherence that persist up to room temperature. Harnessing these defects as atomic-scale probes of electromagnetic fields promises to lead to nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance, new tools for bio-sensing, and a better understanding of semiconductor electronics.

To read more about our studies, explore the links below:

  • Quantum Information Processing in Diamond

  • The fundamental quantum-mechanical nature of spin makes it an ideal candidate for use as a quantum bit, the basic unit of information in a quantum computing architecture. Individual spins may be initialized, coherently controlled, and read out using a variety of optical and electronic techniques. In particular, point defects in crystals have many analogous properties to atoms trapped in vacuum, including localized electronic states and sharp optical and spin transitions. In certain defects, electronic spin states are insulated from lattice dynamics, leading to long quantum coherence times that persist even up to room temperature.

  • Spin Control in Silicon Carbide and Other Materials

  • We are exploring defects in a variety of wide-bandgap materials, such as the divacancy in silicon carbide (SiC). We investigate these defects for both fundamental and applied studies of quantum information processing as well as for developing hybrid quantum systems and nanoscale sensing.

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