Letter | Published:

Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire

Nature Physics volume 9, pages 631635 (2013) | Download Citation

Abstract

Soon after the first measurements of nuclear magnetic resonance in a condensed-matter system, Bloch1 predicted the presence of statistical fluctuations proportional to in the polarization of an ensemble of N spins. Such spin noise2 has recently emerged as a critical ingredient for nanometre-scale magnetic resonance imaging3,4,5,6. This prominence is a consequence of present magnetic resonance imaging resolutions having reached less than (100 nm)3, a size scale at which statistical spin fluctuations begin to dominate the polarization dynamics. Here, we demonstrate a technique that creates spin order in nanometre-scale ensembles of nuclear spins by harnessing these fluctuations to produce polarizations both larger and narrower than the thermal distribution. This method may provide a route to enhancing the weak magnetic signals produced by nanometre-scale volumes of nuclear spins or a way of initializing the nuclear hyperfine field of electron-spin qubits in the solid state.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Nuclear induction. Phys. Rev. 70, 460–474 (1946).

  2. 2.

    , , & Nuclear-spin noise. Phys. Rev. Lett. 55, 1742–1745 (1985).

  3. 3.

    , , , & Nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 1313–1317 (2009).

  4. 4.

    et al. Nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance with a nitrogen-vacancy spin sensor. Science 339, 557–560 (2013).

  5. 5.

    et al. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy on a (5-nanometer) 3 sample volume. Science 339, 561–563 (2013).

  6. 6.

    , , , & Nanoscale Fourier-transform MRI of spin noise. Preprint at  (2013).

  7. 7.

    & Nuclear spin noise at room temperature. Chem. Phys. Lett. 159, 587–593 (1989).

  8. 8.

    & NMR of water protons. The detection of their nuclear-spin noise, and a simple determination of absolute probe sensitivity based on radiation damping. J. Magn. Reson. 85, 209–215 (1989).

  9. 9.

    , , & Magnetic resonance force microscopy of nuclear spins: detection and manipulation of statistical polarization. Phys. Rev. B 72, 024413 (2005).

  10. 10.

    & Nuclear spin noise imaging. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 6790–6792 (2006).

  11. 11.

    , & Electron spin relaxation by nuclei in semiconductor quantum dots. Phys. Rev. B 65, 205309 (2002).

  12. 12.

    , & Electron spin decoherence in quantum dots due to interaction with nuclei. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 186802 (2002).

  13. 13.

    et al. Coherent dynamics of coupled electron and nuclear spin qubits in diamond. Science 314, 281–285 (2006).

  14. 14.

    et al. Charge noise and spin noise in a semiconductor quantum device. Nature Phys.  (2013).

  15. 15.

    et al. Nuclear spin effects in semiconductor quantum dots. Nature Mater. 12, 494 (2013).

  16. 16.

    & Hyperfine interaction in a quantum dot: Non-Markovian electron spin dynamics. Phys. Rev. B 70, 195340 (2004).

  17. 17.

    et al. Suppressing spin qubit dephasing by nuclear state preparation. Science 321, 817–821 (2008).

  18. 18.

    et al. Confluence of resonant laser excitation and bidirectional quantum-dot nuclear-spin polarization. Nature Phys. 5, 758–763 (2009).

  19. 19.

    et al. Locking electron spins into magnetic resonance by electron-nuclear feedback. Nature Phys. 5, 764–768 (2009).

  20. 20.

    , , , & Enhancing the coherence of a spin qubit by operating it as a feedback loop that controls its nuclear spin bath. Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 216803 (2010).

  21. 21.

    , , & Laser cooling and real-time measurement of the nuclear spin environment of a solid-state qubit. Nature 478, 497–501 (2011).

  22. 22.

    , , & Measurement of statistical nuclear spin polarization in a nanoscale GaAs sample. Phys. Rev. B 84, 205328 (2011).

  23. 23.

    , , & Creating order from random fluctuations in small spin ensembles. Science 307, 408–411 (2005).

  24. 24.

    & Improved performance of frequency-swept pulses using offset-independent adiabaticity. J. Magn. Reson. A 120, 133–137 (1996).

  25. 25.

    , , & Nuclear spin relaxation induced by a mechanical resonator. Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 137601 (2008).

  26. 26.

    Mathematical analysis of random noise. AT&T Tech. J. 24, 46–156 (1945).

  27. 27.

    , , & Role of spin noise in the detection of nanoscale ensembles of nuclear spins. Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 250601 (2007).

  28. 28.

    , , , & Nuclear magnetic resonance force microscopy with a microwire rf source. Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 263111 (2007).

  29. 29.

    et al. Direct band gap wurtzite gallium phosphide nanowires. Nano Lett. 13, 1559–1563 (2013).

  30. 30.

    , , , & High field-gradient dysprosium tips for magnetic resonance force microscopy. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 013102 (2012).

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank C. L. Degen, C. Klöffel, T. Poggio and R. J. Warburton for illuminating discussions; H. S. Solanki for experimental assistance; and S. Keerthana for assistance with a figure. We acknowledge support from the Canton Aargau, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF, Grant No. 200020-140478), the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, and the National Center of Competence in Research for Quantum Science and Technology.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

    • P. Peddibhotla
    • , F. Xue
    •  & M. Poggio
  2. Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands

    • H. I. T. Hauge
    • , S. Assali
    •  & E. P. A. M. Bakkers
  3. Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

    • E. P. A. M. Bakkers

Authors

  1. Search for P. Peddibhotla in:

  2. Search for F. Xue in:

  3. Search for H. I. T. Hauge in:

  4. Search for S. Assali in:

  5. Search for E. P. A. M. Bakkers in:

  6. Search for M. Poggio in:

Contributions

P.P. and M.P conceived and designed the experiments in collaboration with F.X. P.P. carried out the experiments, to which F.X. made early contributions. P.P. and M.P. analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. P.P. and F.X. prepared the samples and devices. The nanowires were grown by H.I.T.H., S.A. and E.P.A.M.B. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Poggio.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Information

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys2731

Further reading