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Title: Creation and control of entanglement in condensed matter spin systems
Author: Simmons, Stephanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 9662
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The highly parallel nature of the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics means that certain key resource-intensive tasks --- including searching, code decryption and medical, chemical and material simulations --- can be computed polynomially or even exponentially faster with a quantum computer. In spite of its remarkably fast development, the field of quantum computing is still young, and a large-scale prototype using any one of the candidate quantum bits (or 'qubits') under investigation has yet to be developed. Spin-based qubits in condensed matter systems are excellent candidates. Spins controlled using magnetic resonance have provided the first, most advanced, and highest fidelity experimental demonstrations of quantum algorithms to date. Despite having highly promising control characteristics, most physical ensembles investigated using magnetic resonance are unable to produce entanglement, a critical missing ingredient for a pure-state quantum computer. Quantum objects are said to be entangled if they cannot be described individually: they remain fundamentally linked regardless of their physical separation. Such highly non-classical states can be exploited for a host of quantum technologies including teleportation, metrology, and quantum computation. Here I describe how to experimentally create, control and characterise entangled quantum ensembles using magnetic resonance. I first explore the relationship between entanglement and quantum metrology and demonstrate a sensitivity enhancement over classical resources using molecular sensors controlled with liquid-state nuclear magnetic resonance. I then examine the computational potential of irreversible relaxation processes in combination with traditional reversible magnetic resonance control techniques. I show how irreversible processes can polarise both nuclear and electronic spins, which improves the quality of qubit initialisation. I discuss the process of quantum state tomography, where an arbitrary quantum state can be accurately measured and characterised, including components which go undetected using traditional magnetic resonance techniques. Lastly, I combine the above findings to initialise, create and characterise entanglement between an ensemble of electron and nuclear spin defects in silicon. I further this by generating pseudo-entanglement between an ensemble of nuclear spins mediated by a transient electron spin in a molecular system. These findings help pave the way towards a particular architecture for a scalable, spin-based quantum computer.
Supervisor: Briggs, G. A. D.; Ardavan, A.; Morton, J. J. L. Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Quantum information processing ; Silicon ; Single crystal semiconductors ; Condensed Matter Physics ; quantum information ; spin dynamics ; entanglement ; magnetic resonance