Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

A New Quantum Memory on the Horizon

Published: Friday, May 23, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, May 23, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Sensitive measurements can be used to detect signals from an individual ion in a crystal.

A promising material is lining itself up as a candidate for a quantum memory. A team at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen is the first to succeed in performing high-resolution spectroscopy and microscopy on individual rare earth ions in a crystal.

With the aid of ingenious laser and microscopy technology they determined the position of triply charged positive praseodymium atoms (Pr3+) in an yttrium orthosilicate to within a few nanometres and investigated their weak interaction with light.

In addition to its impact on fundamental studies, the work may make an important contribution to the quantum computers of the future because the ions investigated are suitable for storing and processing quantum information.

Around the globe, numerous researchers are working on components for the quantum computers of the future, which will be able to process information significantly faster than today. The key elements of these super-computers include quantum systems with optical properties similar to those of an atom.

This is why many researchers are currently focusing their attention on different systems such as light-emitting crystal defects (“colour centres”) in diamond or on semiconductor quantum dots. However, so far there has been no ideal solution.

“Some of the light sources lose their brightness or flicker in an uncontrollable way,” explains Vahid Sandoghdar, who heads the Nano-Optics Department at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen. “Others are greatly affected by the environment into which they are embedded.”

Researchers observe the signals of an individual ion
It has long been known that the rare earth ions such as neodymium or erbium do not suffer from these problems - which is also why they play a key role in lasers or laser amplifiers. They emit only weakly, however, and are therefore difficult to detect. This is precisely what Tobias Utikal, Emanuel Eichhammer and Stephan Götzinger from Sandoghdar’s Group in Erlangen have succeeded to do: after more than six years of intensive research they were able to detect individual praseodymium ions, pinpoint them with an accuracy of a few nanometres, and measure their optical properties with an accuracy never achieved before.

The triply charged, positive ions were embedded in tiny microcrystals and nanocrystals of yttrium orthosilicate (YSO). Their energies varied only slightly depending on their position in the crystal. In other words, they reacted to slightly different frequencies. The scientists used this to excite individual ions in the crystals with a laser and to observe how they emit the energy after some time in form of light.

“Because rare earth ions are not strongly affected by the thermal and acoustic oscillations of the crystal, some of their energy states are unusually stable,” says Sandoghdar. “It takes more than a minute before they make the transition into the ground state again - a million times longer than for most of the other quantum systems that have been investigated so far.”

The aim is for the signals of the ions to be even easier to observe in the future. Since an individual ion responds with less than 100 photons per second at the moment, the Erlangen-based scientists want to employ nano-antennas and microcavities to amplify the praseodymium signal by a hundred or a thousand times.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Loophole for Cancer Cells
Cancer cells kill blood vessel cells so that they can slip through the vascular wall and form metastases.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
An Old-New Weapon Against Emerging Chikungunya Virus
Researchers utilize existing drugs to interfere with host factors required for replication of Chikungunya virus.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Properties of Light Can be Controlled by Nanostructures
A study led by the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country professor Ángel Rubio has simulated a new device to generate terahertz radiation using carbon nanostructures.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Epigenetic Switch for Obesity
Obesity can sometimes be shut down.
Friday, January 29, 2016
A Worm with Five Faces
Max Planck scientists discover new roundworm species on Réunion.
Monday, January 04, 2016
Cooperating Bacteria Isolate Cheaters
Bacteria, which reciprocally exchange amino acids, stabilize their partnership on two-dimensional surfaces and limit the access of non-cooperating bacteria to the exchanged nutrients.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The Life Story of Stem Cells
A model analyses the development of stem cell numbers in the human body.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
The Linking of Molecules and Microbes
Researchers have succeeded in making antibiotic substances and their bacterial producers simultaneously visible.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
How the Lung Repairs its Wounds
Researchers have gained detailed insights into the dynamic remodeling of the tissue during lung repair.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Proteomics Identifies DNA Repair Toolbox
Max-Planck scientists identify protein profiles of DNA repair.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Leaf Odor Attracts Drosophila Suzukii
Beta-cyclocitral is highly attractive to fruit crop pest.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
A Gene For Brain Size - Only Found In Humans
Following the traces of evolution: Max Planck Researchers find a key to the reproduction of brain stem cells.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Earliest Modern Human Sequenced
Researchers discover fragments of Neandertal DNA in the genome of a 45,000-year-old modern human from Siberia.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Epigenetic Control of Cardiogenesis
Non-coding RNA is essential for normal embryonic cardiogenesis.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Finished Heart Switches Stem Cells Off
Transcription factor Ajuba regulates stem cell activity in the heart during embryonic development.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Scientific News
Adoption of Three Dimensional Culture Models May Save Lives
Physiologically relevant cell models can detect chronic hepatotoxicity early in the drug discovery process.
AACC 2016 Sees Clinical Chemistry Labs Drive Precision Medicine Offerings
Biomarker assays to enable precision medicine and risk assessment, mass spec-based tests designed for use in clinical labs large and small, and liquid biopsy technology captured the spotlight at the AACC annual meeting.
NASA's DNA Sequencing in Space is a Success
DNA has been sequenced in space for the first time ever for the Biomolecule Sequencer investigation, using the MinION sequencing device.
Major Pathogen of Barley Decoded
A team of scientists studying the fungus that causes Ramularia leaf spot have sequenced and explored its genome.
Inovio Launches Zika Vaccine Trial
Inovio launches Zika vaccine trial in midst of Puerto Rico epidemic to explore early signals of vaccine efficacy.
Shark Fins & Meat Contain High Levels of Neurotoxins Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
UM research team says restricting shark consumption protects human health and shark populations.
Worms Point Way Toward Viral Strategies
Rice University wins NIH grant to study how nematodes handle gastrointestinal viruses.
Molecule Prevents Effect of Chemotherapy
Danish researchers from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University have made a possible breakthrough in the treatment of colorectal cancer.
How The 'Police' Of The Cell World Deal With 'Intruders' And The 'Injured'
Findings may help discover new targets to manipulate inflammation.
Bringing Artificial Enzymes Closer to Nature
Scientists have developed an artificaiak metalloenzyme that catalyses a natural reaction within cells that has no natural equivalent.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!