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Optical manipulation of the Berry phase in a solid-state spin qubit


Phase relations between quantum states represent a resource for storing and processing quantum information. Although quantum phases are commonly controlled dynamically by tuning energetic interactions, the use of geometric phases that accumulate during cyclic evolution may offer superior robustness to noise. To date, demonstrations of geometric phase in solid-state systems employ microwave fields that have limited spatial resolution. Here, we demonstrate an all-optical method to accumulate a geometric phase, the Berry phase, in an individual nitrogen–vacancy centre in diamond. Using stimulated Raman adiabatic passage controlled by diffraction-limited laser light, we loop the nitrogen–vacancy centre's spin around the Bloch sphere to enclose an arbitrary Berry phase. We investigate the limits of this control due to the loss of adiabaticity and decoherence, as well as its robustness to noise introduced into the experimental control parameters. These techniques set the foundation for optical geometric manipulation in photonic networks of solid-state qubits linked and controlled by light.

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Figure 1: Driving the |A2〉 Λ system.
Figure 2: Characterizing phase-controlled STIRAP in the NV centre.
Figure 3: Optically accumulated Berry phase.
Figure 4: Exploring the dynamic and Berry phases.
Figure 5: Noise robustness of the Berry phase.


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The authors thank C.P. Anderson, B.B. Buckley, D.J. Christle and C.F. de las Casas for discussions and H.L. Bretscher for experimental assistance. This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-14-1-0231 and FA9550-15-1-0029), the National Science Foundation (NSF-DMR-1306300) and the German Research Foundation (SFB 767).

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C.G.Y., F.J.H. and B.B.Z. performed the experiments. A.A. and G.B. developed the theoretical simulations. All authors contributed to the data analysis and writing of the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David D. Awschalom.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Yale, C., Heremans, F., Zhou, B. et al. Optical manipulation of the Berry phase in a solid-state spin qubit. Nature Photon 10, 184–189 (2016).

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