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
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ 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

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
A Toxic Menu
Marine worm feeds on carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide with the help of symbiotic bacteria.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Proteomics: Top European Researcher Scoops two Prestigious Science Awards
A German researcher has just been awarded not one but two top science accolades for his research in mass spectrometry.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Somatic Stem Cells Obtained from Skin Cells for First Time Ever
Skipping pluripotency 'detour,' Max Planck researcher Prof. Schöler again takes lead in stem cell research.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Scientists Use Silk from the Tasar Silkworm as a Scaffold for Heart Tissue
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim are seeking to restore complete cardiac function with the help of artificial cardiac tissue.
Monday, January 30, 2012
New Mass Spectrometric Method Allows Fast And Comprehensive Analyses Of Metabolites
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and their colleagues from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague have developed a new method to quickly and reliably detect metabolites, such as sugars, fatty acids, amino acids and other organic substances from plant or animal tissue samples.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Scientific News
NIH Study Finds Calorie Restriction Lowers Some Risk Factors for Age-Related Diseases
Two-year trial did not produce expected metabolic changes, but influenced other life span markers.
Immunotherapy Agent Benefits Patients with Drug-Resistant Multiple Myeloma in First Human Trial
Daratumumab proved generally safe in patients, even at the highest doses.
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Inciting an Immune Attack On Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
‘Mutation-Tracking’ Blood Test for Breast Cancer
Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumours are visible on hospital scans.
Cellular Contamination Pathway for Heavy Elements Identified
Berkeley Lab scientists find that an iron-binding protein can transport actinides into cells.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Common ‘Heart Attack’ Blood Test May Predict Future Hypertension
Small rises in troponin levels may have value as markers for subclinical heart damage and high blood pressure.
LaVision BioTec Reports on the Neuro Research on the Human Brain After Trauma
Company reports on the work of Dr Ali Ertürk from the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at LMU Munich.
NIH Study Shows No Benefit of Omega-3 Supplements for Cognitive Decline
Research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!