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Quantum device traps, detects and manipulates the spin of single electrons
Date:9/28/2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A novel device, developed by a team led by University at Buffalo engineers, simply and conveniently traps, detects and manipulates the single spin of an electron, overcoming some major obstacles that have prevented progress toward spintronics and spin-based quantum computing.

Published online this week in Physical Review Letters, the research paper brings closer to reality electronic devices based on the use of single spins and their promise of low-power/high-performance computing.

The task of manipulating the spin of single electrons is a hugely daunting technological challenge that has the potential, if overcome, to open up new paradigms of nanoelectronics, said Jonathan P. Bird, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and principal investigator on the project.

In this paper, we demonstrate a novel approach that allows us to easily trap, manipulate and detect single-electron spins, in a scheme that has the potential to be scaled up in the future into dense, integrated circuits.

While several groups have recently reported the trapping of a single spin, they all have done so using quantum dots, nanoscale semiconductors that can only demonstrate spin trapping in extremely cold temperatures, below 1 degree Kelvin.

The cooling of devices or computers to that temperature is not routinely achievable, Bird said, and it makes systems far more sensitive to interference.

The UB group, by contrast, has trapped and detected spin at temperatures of about 20 degrees Kelvin, a level that Bird says should allow for the development of a viable technology, based on this approach.

In addition, the system they developed requires relatively few logic gates, the components in semiconductors that control electron flow, making scalability to complex integrated circuits very feasible.

The UB researchers achieved success through their innovative use of quantum point contacts: narro
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Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1415
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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