Quantum Technologies Collaboration at PSI (QTC@PSI)
A nucleation point of PSI competences towards the quantum technology initiative.
PSI's expertise in the study of quantum matter and engineering of nanoelectronics is directly connected to the availability of world-class large-scale facilities, such as the SINQ neutron and SµS muon source, the SLS synchrotron and the SwissFEL x-ray free-electron laser.
The Quantum Technology Collaboration at PSI (QTC@PSI) serves as a platform to coalesce key competences and know-how (imaging, spectroscopy, sample synthesis, nanofabrication and theory) that will lead to the development of components required to implement quantum technology in everyday life. Critical expertise in nanofabrication, optical amplifiers & microwave technology, metrology, cryogenics & magnet engineering, as well as detector technology exist at PSI today. This combination of scientific excellence in materials science and quantum materials along with the technological know-how and large scale facilities means PSI is uniquely positioned to make significant contributions to the quantum revolution that now is unfolding worldwide.
Scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institut and ETH Zürich, with colleagues from CEA Grenoble, have demonstrated and characterized a technology that, for the first time, yields lasing from strained elemental Germanium. This achievement underlines PSI’s leading role in the development of Silicon-compatible laser light sources.
We have produced ultra-short X-ray FEL pulses at SwissFEL by strongly compressing low-charge electron beams. Single-shot spectral measurements with only a single mode (see the figure below) indicate a pulse duration well below one femtosecond (detailed analysis on the exact pulse duration is ongoing).
While information technology over the last 50 years has been based on conventional semiconductor electronics, future technologies – aiming to enhance the performance of computers, sensors and to secure data communication for the future internet – will use the quantum origins of nature.
This symposium highlighted the opportunities for the traditional semiconductor materials to remain the platform on which also the new quantum technologies will build on. The symposium, in part a celebration of the career of PSI Quantum Technologies group leader Hans Sigg, was held at ETHZ and included notable speakers both local and international, Gabriel Aeppli (PSI, ETHZ & EPFL), Jérôme Faist & Klaus Ensslin (ETHZ), Theo Rasing (RU Nijmegen), Giordano Scappucci (QuTech-TU Delft) and Klaus von Klitzing (MPI Stuttgart).
A team with three researchers from the ETH Domain has been awarded a prestigious EU grant. Today, they received the contract signed by the EU confirming the extraordinary 14 million euros funding. With it, they will investigate quantum effects which could become the backbone of future electronics.
In findings recently published in Nature Photonics, a team including researchers from the UK, the Netherlands and Photon Sciences division head Gabriel Aeppli have investigated multi-photon THz absorption in Si:P. Their studies, using the THz free-electron laser FELIX, discovered a two photon absorption cross-section ten orders of magnitude higher than that of a natural hydrogen atom and may enable new methods in quantum control. In addition to the original publication their findings are also discussed in a 'News and Views' article.
Christopher Mudry and his collaborators have shown theoretically how to construct strongly interacting phases of matter that realize topological order in two-dimensional space by strongly coupling quantum wire. Remarkably, their model supports both Abelian topological order (ATO) and non-Abelian topological order (NATO) with a continuous phase transition separating them. Read the full paper here
The SPS 2017 Prize in Condensed Matter Physics, sponsored by IBM, has been awarded to Dr. Nan Xu for his excellent work on topological quantum states. Dr. Nan Xu is a joint postdoc of Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
Coherent superpositions of three states for phosphorous donors in silicon prepared using THz radiation
Superposition of orbital eigenstates is crucial to quantum technology utilizing atoms, such as atomic clocks and quantum computers, and control over the interaction between atoms and their neighbours is an essential ingredient for both gating and readout. A team of researchers including Photon Science division head Gabriel Aeppli has demonstrated THz laser pulse control of Si:P orbitals using multiple orbital state admixtures, observing beat patterns produced by Zeeman splitting. The beats are an observable signature of the ability to control the path of the electron, which implies we can now control the strength and duration of the interaction of the atom with different neighbours. This could simplify surface code networks which require spatially controlled interaction between atoms. The full article can be read in Nature Communications
Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University - one of the leading authors, Simon Gerber, has in the meantime relocated to PSI - have made the first direct measurements, and by far the most precise ones, of how electrons move in sync with atomic vibrations rippling through an quantum material, in the present study an unconventional superconductor, as if they were “dancing" to the same beat.