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Quantum-coherent nanoscience

Abstract

For the past three decades nanoscience has widely affected many areas in physics, chemistry and engineering, and has led to numerous fundamental discoveries, as well as applications and products. Concurrently, quantum science and technology has developed into a cross-disciplinary research endeavour connecting these same areas and holds burgeoning commercial promise. Although quantum physics dictates the behaviour of nanoscale objects, quantum coherence, which is central to quantum information, communication and sensing, has not played an explicit role in much of nanoscience. This Review describes fundamental principles and practical applications of quantum coherence in nanoscale systems, a research area we call quantum-coherent nanoscience. We structure this Review according to specific degrees of freedom that can be quantum-coherently controlled in a given nanoscale system, such as charge, spin, mechanical motion and photons. We review the current state of the art and focus on outstanding challenges and opportunities unlocked by the merging of nanoscience and coherent quantum operations.

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Fig. 1: Ultrafast coherent control of two charge qubits in quantum dots.
Fig. 2: Quantum-coherent operation of two spin qubits in lithographically defined nanostructures.
Fig. 3: Quantum-coherent control of the spin DOF of atomic and molecular spin bits.
Fig. 4: Nanoscale quantum photonics.
Fig. 5: Nanomechanical resonator at the quantum limit.
Fig. 6: Photon–charge–spin hybrid quantum device.

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Acknowledgements

A.J.H. acknowledges financial support from the Institute for Basic Science under grant number IBS-R027-D1. W.D.O. received funding from the US Army Research Office under grant number W911WF-18-1-0116 and the National Science Foundation under grant number PHY-1720311. L.M.K.V. received funding from the European Research Council (grant number 882848) and A.A. from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant number EP/P000479/1) and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement numbers 863098 and 862893. R.S. was funded by EU-H2020 research project number 862893. A.B.J. received funding from NSF award number QIS-1820938 and the NSF QLCI through grant number OMA-2016245. J.F.-R. was funded by Generalitat Valenciana funding Prometeo 2017/139 and MINECO-Spain (grant number PID2019-109539GB); A.L. by the UNSW Scientia Program; and A.M. by the Australian Research Council (grant numbers CE170100012 and DP180100969), the US Army Research Office (grant number W911NF-17-1-0200) and the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (grant number AUSMURI00002). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the ARO or the US government. The US government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.

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Heinrich, A.J., Oliver, W.D., Vandersypen, L.M.K. et al. Quantum-coherent nanoscience. Nat. Nanotechnol. 16, 1318–1329 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-021-00994-1

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