Electrically driven nuclear spin resonance in single-molecule magnets

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Science  06 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6188, pp. 1135-1138
DOI: 10.1126/science.1249802

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Electrical control of nuclear spin qubits

Quantum bits of information (qubits) that are based on spins of atomic nuclei are an attractive option for quantum information processing. It can sometimes be tricky to manipulate these qubits using magnetic fields directly. Thiele et al. developed a technique for electrically controlling a nuclear spin qubit in the single-molecule magnet TbPc2. When they hit the qubit with a microwave pulse, the microwave's electric field generated effective magnetic fields much larger than those available previously.

Science, this issue p. 1135


Recent advances in addressing isolated nuclear spins have opened up a path toward using nuclear-spin–based quantum bits. Local magnetic fields are normally used to coherently manipulate the state of the nuclear spin; however, electrical manipulation would allow for fast switching and spatially confined spin control. Here, we propose and demonstrate coherent single nuclear spin manipulation using electric fields only. Because there is no direct coupling between the spin and the electric field, we make use of the hyperfine Stark effect as a magnetic field transducer at the atomic level. This quantum-mechanical process is present in all nuclear spin systems, such as phosphorus or bismuth atoms in silicon, and offers a general route toward the electrical control of nuclear-spin–based devices.

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