Conventional spin-singlet Cooper pairs convert into spin-triplet pairs in ferromagnetic Josephson junctions in which the superconductor/ferromagnet interfaces (S/F) are magnetically inhomogeneous. Although much of the theoretical work describing this triplet proximity effect has considered ideal junctions with magnetic domain walls (DW) at the interfaces, in practice it is not easily possible to isolate a DW and propagate a supercurrent through it. The rare-earth magnet Gd can form a field-tuneable in-plane Bloch DW if grown between non-co-linearly aligned ferromagnets. Here we report supercurrents through magnetic Ni-Gd-Ni nanopillars: by field annealing at room temperature, we are able to modify the low temperature DW-state in Gd and this result has a striking effect on the junction supercurrent at 4.2 K. We argue that this result can only be explained in terms of the interconversion of triplet and singlet pairs, the efficiency of which depends on the magnetic helicity of the structure.
Using the nonequilibrium Green’s function method, we theoretically study the Andreev reflection(AR) in a four-terminal Aharonov-Bohm interferometer containing a coupled double quantum dot with the Rashba spin-orbit interaction (RSOI) and the coherent indirect coupling via two ferromagnetic leads. When two ferromagnetic electrodes are in the parallel configuration, the spin-up conductance is equal to the spin-down conductance due to the absence of the RSOI. However, for the antiparallel alignment, the spin-polarized AR occurs resulting from the crossed AR (CAR) and the RSOI. The effects of the coherent indirect coupling, RSOI, and magnetic flux on the Andreev-reflected tunneling magnetoresistance are analyzed at length. The spin-related current is calculated, and a distinct swap effect emerges. Furthermore, the pure spin current can be generated due to the CAR when two ferromagnets become two half metals. It is found that the strong RSOI and the large indirect coupling are in favor of the CAR and the production of the strong spin current. The properties of the spin-related current are tunable in terms of the external parameters. Our results offer new ways to manipulate the spin-dependent transport.
Aharonov-Bohm interferometer; Double quantum dot; Andreev reflection; Rashba spin-orbit interaction; Coherent indirect coupling; 73.63.Kv; 73.23.-b; 72.25.-b
Superconductivity is due to an attractive interaction between electrons that, below a critical temperature, drives them to form Cooper pairs and to condense into a ground state separated by an energy gap from the unpaired states. In the simplest cases, the pairing is mediated by lattice vibrations and the wavefunction of the pairs is isotropic. Less conventional pairing mechanisms can favour more exotic symmetries of the Cooper pairs. Here, we report on point-contact spectroscopy measurements in PuCoGa5, a moderate heavy-fermion superconductor with a record high critical temperature Tc=18.5 K. The results prove that the wavefunction of the paired electrons has a d-wave symmetry, with four lobes and nodes, and show that the pairing is likely to be mediated by spin fluctuations. Electronic structure calculations, which take into account the full structure of the f-orbital multiplets of Pu, provide a hint of the possible origin of these fluctuations.
The heavy-fermion material PuCoGa5 is characterized by unconventional superconducting properties. By combining point-contact spectroscopy and first-principles calculations, this study reveals a d-wave symmetry in the system's order parameter.
Superconducting point contacts have been used for measuring magnetic polarizations, identifying magnetic impurities, electronic structures, and even the vibrational modes of small molecules. Due to intrinsically small energy scale in the subgap structures of the supercurrent determined by the size of the superconducting energy gap, superconductors provide ultrahigh sensitivities for high resolution spectroscopies. The so-called Andreev reflection process between normal metal and superconductor carries complex and rich information which can be utilized as powerful sensor when fully exploited. In this review, we would discuss recent experimental and theoretical developments in the supercurrent transport through superconducting point contacts and their relevance to sensing applications, and we would highlight their current issues and potentials. A true utilization of the method based on Andreev reflection analysis opens up possibilities for a new class of ultrasensitive sensors.
point contact spectroscopy; superconductivity; andreev reflections
Photonic quantum systems are among the most promising architectures for quantum computers. It is well known that for dual-rail photons effective non-linearities and near-deterministic non-trivial two-qubit gates can be achieved via the measurement process and by introducing ancillary photons. While in principle this opens a legitimate path to scalable linear optical quantum computing, the technical requirements are still very challenging and thus other optical encodings are being actively investigated. One of the alternatives is to use single-rail encoded photons, where entangled states can be deterministically generated. Here we prove that even for such systems universal optical quantum computing using only passive optical elements such as beam splitters and phase shifters is not possible. This no-go theorem proves that photon bunching cannot be passively suppressed even when extra ancilla modes and arbitrary number of photons are used. Our result provides useful guidance for the design of optical quantum computers.
Artificial molecules containing just one or two electrons provide a powerful platform
for studies of orbital and spin quantum dynamics in nanoscale devices. A well-known
example of these dynamics is tunnelling of electrons between two coupled quantum
dots triggered by microwave irradiation. So far, these tunnelling processes have
been treated as electric-dipole-allowed spin-conserving events. Here we report that
microwaves can also excite tunnelling transitions between states with different
spin. We show that the dominant mechanism responsible for violation of spin
conservation is the spin–orbit interaction. These transitions make it
possible to perform detailed microwave spectroscopy of the molecular spin states of
an artificial hydrogen molecule and open up the possibility of realizing full
quantum control of a two-spin system through microwave excitation.
Tunnelling transitions triggered by microwave irradiation between
coupled quantum dots have generally been assumed to be spin-conserving. This study shows
that this condition is violated in the presence of spin–orbit coupling, thus
opening new possibilities for manipulating a two–spin qubit system by
Coherent control of quantum states is at the heart of implementing solid-state quantum
processors and testing quantum mechanics at the macroscopic level. Despite significant
progress made in recent years in controlling single- and bi-partite quantum systems,
coherent control of quantum wave function in multipartite systems involving artificial
solid-state qubits has been hampered due to the relatively short decoherence time and lack
of precise control methods. Here we report the creation and coherent manipulation of quantum
states in a tripartite quantum system, which is formed by a superconducting qubit coupled to
two microscopic two-level systems (TLSs). The avoided crossings in the system's energy-level
spectrum due to the qubit–TLS interaction act as tunable quantum beam splitters of wave
functions. Our result shows that the Landau–Zener–Stückelberg interference has great
potential in precise control of the quantum states in the tripartite system.
Coherent control of solid-state multi-qubit systems is
highly desirable for quantum information. Here the authors show coupling, and control through
Landau–Zener interference, of a superconducting qubit and two microscopic two-level systems, creating
an interesting platform for quantum computation.
Understanding magnetism and electron correlation in many unconventional superconductors is essential to explore mechanism of superconductivity. In this work, we perform a systematic numerical study of the magnetic and pair binding properties in recently discovered polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) superconductors including alkali-metal-doped picene, coronene, phenanthrene, and dibenzopentacene. The π-electrons on the carbon atoms of a single molecule are modelled by the one-orbital Hubbard model, and the energy difference between carbon atoms with and without hydrogen bonds is taking into account. We demonstrate that the spin polarized ground state is realized for charged molecules in the physical parameter regions, which provides a reasonable explanation of local spins observed in PAHs. In alkali-metal-doped dibenzopentacene, our results show that electron correlation may produce an effective attraction between electrons for the charged molecule with one or three added electrons.
Electron reflection at an interface is a fundamental quantum transport phenomenon. The most famous electron reflection is the electron→hole Andreev reflection (AR) at a metal/superconductor interface. While AR can be either specular or retro-type, electron→electron reflection is limited to only the specular type. Here we show that electrons can undergo retro-reflection in bilayer graphene (BLG). The underlying mechanism for this previously unknown process is the anisotropic constant energy band contour of BLG. The electron group velocity is fully reversed upon reflection, causing electrons to be retro-reflected. Utilizing a BLG/superconductor junction (BLG/S) as a model structure, we show that the unique low energy quasiparticle nature of BLG results in two striking features: (1) AR is completely absent, making BLG/S 100% electron reflective; (2) electrons are valley-selectively focused upon retro-reflection. Our results suggest that BLG/S is a valley-selective Veselago electron focusing mirror which can be useful in valleytronic applications.
The origin of pairing in a superconductor resides in the underlying normal state. In the cuprate high-temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3Oy (YBCO), application of a magnetic field to suppress superconductivity reveals a ground state that appears to break the translational symmetry of the lattice, pointing to some density-wave order. Here we use a comparative study of thermoelectric transport in the cuprates YBCO and La1.8−xEu0.2SrxCuO4 (Eu-LSCO) to show that the two materials exhibit the same process of Fermi-surface reconstruction as a function of temperature and doping. The fact that in Eu-LSCO this reconstruction coexists with spin and charge modulations that break translational symmetry shows that stripe order is the generic non-superconducting ground state of hole-doped cuprates.
An electron pocket exists in the Fermi-surface of the high temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3Oy, but its origin is unknown. Here, YBa2Cu3Oy and La1.8−xEu0.2SrxCuO4 are both shown to exhibit Fermi-surface reconstruction, and in the latter, this is due to stripe order, suggesting that the same mechanism exists in YBa2Cu3Oy.
We present a system which uses a single spatial light modulator to control the spin angular momentum of multiple optical traps. These traps may be independently controlled both in terms of spatial location and in terms of their spin angular momentum content. The system relies on a spatial light modulator used in a “split-screen” configuration to generate beams of orthogonal polarisation states which are subsequently combined at a polarising beam splitter. Defining the phase difference between the beams with the spatial light modulator enables control of the polarisation state of the light. We demonstrate the functionality of the system by controlling the rotation and orientation of birefringent vaterite crystals within holographic optical tweezers.
Recently, cold atomic Fermi gases with the large magnetic dipolar interaction have been laser cooled down to quantum degeneracy. Different from electric-dipoles which are classic vectors, atomic magnetic dipoles are quantum-mechanical matrix operators proportional to the hyperfine-spin of atoms, thus provide rich opportunities to investigate exotic many-body physics. Furthermore, unlike anisotropic electric dipolar gases, unpolarized magnetic dipolar systems are isotropic under simultaneous spin-orbit rotation. These features give rise to a robust mechanism for a novel pairing symmetry: orbital p-wave (L = 1) spin triplet (S = 1) pairing with total angular momentum of the Cooper pair J = 1. This pairing is markedly different from both the 3He-B phase in which J = 0 and the 3He-A phase in which J is not conserved. It is also different from the p-wave pairing in the single-component electric dipolar systems in which the spin degree of freedom is frozen.
The pairing mechanism for the high- superconductors based on the electron-phonon (EPH) and electron-electron-phonon (EEPH) interactions has been presented. On the fold mean-field level, it has been proven, that the obtained s-wave model supplements the predictions based on the BCS van Hove scenario. In particular: (i) For strong EEPH coupling and the energy gap () is very weak temperature dependent; up to the critical temperature extends into the anomalous normal state to the Nernst temperature. (ii) The model explains well the experimental dependence of the ratio on doping for the reported superconductors in the terms of the few fundamental parameters. In the presented paper, the properties of the d-wave superconducting state in the two-dimensional system have been also studied. The obtained results, like for s-wave, have shown the energy gap amplitude crossover from the BCS to non-BCS behavior, as the value of the EEPH potential increases. However, for the energy gap amplitude extends into the anomalous normal state to the pseudogap temperature. Finally, it has been presented that the anisotropic model explains the dependence of the ratio on doping for the considered superconductors.
Quantum interferometry uses quantum resources to improve phase estimation with respect to classical methods. Here we propose and theoretically investigate a new quantum interferometric scheme based on three-dimensional waveguide devices. These can be implemented by femtosecond laser waveguide writing, recently adopted for quantum applications. In particular, multiarm interferometers include “tritter” and “quarter” as basic elements, corresponding to the generalization of a beam splitter to a 3- and 4-port splitter, respectively. By injecting Fock states in the input ports of such interferometers, fringe patterns characterized by nonclassical visibilities are expected. This enables outperforming the quantum Fisher information obtained with classical fields in phase estimation. We also discuss the possibility of achieving the simultaneous estimation of more than one optical phase. This approach is expected to open new perspectives to quantum enhanced sensing and metrology performed in integrated photonics.
To study the interface between a conventional superconductor and a topological insulator, we fabricated Pb-Bi2Te3-Pb lateral and sandwiched junctions, and performed electron transport measurements down to low temperatures. The results show that there is a strong superconducting proximity effect between Bi2Te3 and Pb, as that a supercurrent can be established along the thickness direction of the Bi2Te3 flakes (100~300 nm thick) at a temperature very close to the superconducting Tc of Pb. Moreover, a Josephson current can be established over several microns in the lateral direction between two Pb electrodes on the Bi2Te3 surface. We have further demonstrated that superconducting quantum interference devices can be constructed based on the proximity-effect-induced superconductivity. The critical current of the devices exhibits s-wave-like interference and Fraunhofer diffraction patterns. With improved designs, Josephson devices of this type would provide a test-bed for exploring novel phenomena such as Majorana fermions in the future.
Double quantum dots are convenient solid-state platforms to encode quantum information. Two-electron spin states can be detected and manipulated using quantum selection rules based on the Pauli exclusion principle, leading to Pauli spin blockade of electron transport for triplet states. Coherent spin states would be optimally preserved in an environment free of nuclear spins, which is achievable in silicon by isotopic purification. Here we report on a deliberately engineered, gate-defined silicon metal-oxide-semiconductor double quantum dot system. The electron occupancy of each dot and the inter-dot tunnel coupling are independently tunable by electrostatic gates. At weak inter-dot coupling we clearly observe Pauli spin blockade and measure a large intra-dot singlet-triplet splitting > 1 meV. The leakage current in spin blockade has a peculiar magnetic field dependence, unrelated to electron-nuclear effects and consistent with the effect of spin-flip cotunneling processes. The results obtained here provide excellent prospects for realising singlet-triplet qubits.
Spin-dependent transport through a quantum-dot (QD) ring coupled to ferromagnetic leads with noncollinear magnetizations is studied theoretically. Tunneling current, current spin polarization and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) as functions of the bias voltage and the direct coupling strength between the two leads are analyzed by the nonequilibrium Green's function technique. It is shown that the magnitudes of these quantities are sensitive to the relative angle between the leads' magnetic moments and the quantum interference effect originated from the inter-lead coupling. We pay particular attention on the Coulomb blockade regime and find the relative current magnitudes of different magnetization angles can be reversed by tuning the inter-lead coupling strength, resulting in sign change of the TMR. For large enough inter-lead coupling strength, the current spin polarizations for parallel and antiparallel magnetic configurations will approach to unit and zero, respectively.
A new possible scenario for the origin of the molecular collective behaviour associated with the emergence of living matter is presented. We propose that the transition from a non-living to a living cell could be mapped to a quantum transition to a coherent entanglement of condensates, like in a multigap BCS superconductor. Here the decoherence-evading qualities at high temperature are based on the Feshbach resonance that has been recently proposed as the driving mechanism for high Tc superconductors. Finally we discuss how the proximity to a particular critical point is relevant to the emergence of coherence in the living cell.
origin of life; quantum coherence; biological networks; network of networks; Bose condensation; quantum statistics of networks; Feshbach resonance; multiband superconductivity; multigap superconductivity
A novel concept of the two-dimensional (2D) array of cold-electron nanobolometers (CEB) with double polarised cross-dipole antennas is proposed for ultrasensitive multimode measurements. This concept provides a unique opportunity to simultaneously measure both components of an RF signal and to avoid complicated combinations of two schemes for each polarisation. The optimal concept of the CEB includes a superconductor-insulator-normal tunnel junction and an SN Andreev contact, which provides better performance. This concept allows for better matching with the junction gate field-effect transistor (JFET) readout, suppresses charging noise related to the Coulomb blockade due to the small area of tunnel junctions and decreases the volume of a normal absorber for further improvement of the noise performance. The reliability of a 2D array is considerably increased due to the parallel and series connections of many CEBs.
Estimations of the CEB noise with JFET readout give an opportunity to realise a noise equivalent power (NEP) that is less than photon noise, specifically, NEP = 4 10−19 W/Hz1/2 at 7 THz for an optical power load of 0.02 fW.
Cold-electron bolometer; 2D array; Focal plane antenna; SIN tunnel junction; Andreev contact; JFET readout; 85.25.Oj; 85.25.Pb; 74.50. + r
Current strategies for determining the structures of membrane proteins in lipid environments by NMR spectroscopy rely on the anisotropy of nuclear spin interactions, which are experimentally accessible through experiments performed on weakly and completely aligned samples. Importantly, the anisotropy of nuclear spin interactions results in a mapping of structure to the resonance frequencies and splittings observed in NMR spectra. Distinctive wheel-like patterns are observed in two-dimensional 1H–15N heteronuclear dipolar/15N chemical shift PISEMA (polarization inversion spin-exchange at the magic angle) spectra of helical membrane proteins in highly aligned lipid bilayer samples. One-dimensional dipolar waves are an extension of two-dimensional PISA (polarity index slant angle) wheels that map protein structures in NMR spectra of both weakly and completely aligned samples. Dipolar waves describe the periodic wave-like variations of the magnitudes of the heteronuclear dipolar couplings as a function of residue number in the absence of chemical shift effects. Since weakly aligned samples of proteins display these same effects, primarily as residual dipolar couplings, in solution NMR spectra, this represents a convergence of solid-state and solution NMR approaches to structure determination.
NMR spectroscopy; protein structure; dipolar couplings; membrane proteins; structure determination
In two-dimensional (2D) lattices, the electronic levels are unevenly spaced, and the density of states (DOS) displays a logarithmic divergence known as the Van Hove singularity (VHS). This is the case in particular for the layered cuprate superconductors. The scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) probes the DOS, and is therefore the ideal tool to observe the VHS. No STM study of cuprate superconductors has reported such an observation so far giving rise to a debate about the possibility of observing directly the normal state DOS in the tunnelling spectra. In this study, we show for the first time that the VHS is unambiguously observed in STM measurements performed on the cuprate Bi2Sr2CuO6+δ (Bi-2201). Beside closing the debate, our analysis proves the presence of the pseudogap in the overdoped side of the phase diagram of Bi-2201 and discredits the scenario of the pseudogap phase crossing the superconducting dome.
In two-dimensional lattices the electronic levels are unevenly spaced and the density of states exhibits a divergence known as the Van Hove singularity. In this study, the Van Hove singularity is observed for the first time in a cuprate using scanning tunnelling microscopy.
The ability to manipulate quantum states of light by integrated devices may open new perspectives both for fundamental tests of quantum mechanics and for novel technological applications. However, the technology for handling polarization-encoded qubits, the most commonly adopted approach, is still missing in quantum optical circuits. Here we demonstrate the first integrated photonic controlled-NOT (CNOT) gate for polarization-encoded qubits. This result has been enabled by the integration, based on femtosecond laser waveguide writing, of partially polarizing beam splitters on a glass chip. We characterize the logical truth table of the quantum gate demonstrating its high fidelity to the expected one. In addition, we show the ability of this gate to transform separable states into entangled ones and vice versa. Finally, the full accessibility of our device is exploited to carry out a complete characterization of the CNOT gate through a quantum process tomography.
As quantum information processing continues to develop apace, the need for integrated photonic devices becomes ever greater for both fundamental measurements and technological applications. To this end, Crespi et al. demonstrate a high-fidelity photonic controlled-NOT gate on a glass chip.
In a class of frustrated magnets known as spin ice, magnetic monopoles emerge as classical defects and interact via the magnetic Coulomb law. With quantum-mechanical interactions, these magnetic charges are carried by fractionalized bosonic quasi-particles, spinons, which can undergo Bose–Einstein condensation through a first-order transition via the Higgs mechanism. Here, we report evidence of a Higgs transition from a magnetic Coulomb liquid to a ferromagnet in single-crystal Yb2Ti2O7. Polarized neutron scattering experiments show that the diffuse -rod scattering and pinch-point features, which develop on cooling are suddenly suppressed below TC~0.21 K, where magnetic Bragg peaks and a full depolarization of the neutron spins are observed with thermal hysteresis, indicating a first-order ferromagnetic transition. Our results are explained on the basis of a quantum spin-ice model, whose high-temperature phase is effectively described as a magnetic Coulomb liquid, whereas the ground state shows a nearly collinear ferromagnetism with gapped spin excitations.
Quantum spin ice is a magnetic state of matter which can play host to monopole excitations. Using polarized neutron scattering, Chang et al. show that the quantum spin ice material ytterbium titanate undergoes a Higgs transition of emergent magnetic monopoles from a Coulomb liquid to a ferromagnetic phase.
We report on the high mobility wide electron slabs with enhanced correlation effects by tailoring the polarization effects in a functionally graded ZnMgO/ZnO heterostructures. The characteristics of three-dimensional (3D) spreading electrons are evidenced by the capacitance-voltage profiling and the quantization of 3D Fermi surface in magneto-transport measurements. Despite the weak spin-orbit interaction, such electron slabs are spin-polarized with a large zero-field spin splitting energy, which is induced by the carrier-mediated ferromagnetism. Our results suggest that the vast majority of electrons are localized at the surface magnetic moment which does not allow spin manipulations, and only in the region visited by the itinerant carriers that the ferromagnetic exchange interactions via coupling to the surface local moments contribute to the spin transport. The host ferromagnetism is likely due to the formation of Zn cation vacancies on the surface regime induced by the stabilization mechanism and strain-relaxation in ZnMgO polar ionic surface.
The dependence of interface roughness of pseudomorphic AlAs/In0.53Ga0.47As/InAs resonant tunneling diodes [RTDs] grown by molecular beam epitaxy on interruption time was studied by current-voltage [I-V] characteristics, photoluminescence [PL] spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy [TEM]. We have observed that a splitting in the quantum-well PL due to island formation in the quantum well is sensitive to growth interruption at the AlAs/In0.53Ga0.47As interfaces. TEM images also show flatter interfaces with a few islands which only occur by applying an optimum value of interruption time. The symmetry of I-V characteristics of RTDs with PL and TEM results is consistent because tunneling current is highly dependent on barrier thickness and interface roughness.
resonant tunneling diode; I-V characteristics; molecular beam epitaxy