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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.

Latest News

6 December 2018

EU grants 14 million to Swiss Researchers for ERC Synergy: Hidden, entangled and resonating orders (HERO)

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An ERC Grant is the most prestigious award for excellent European research projects. A team with three researchers from the ETH Domain had also applied for such a grant. Today, Gabriel Aeppli from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, Henrik Rønnow from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL and Nicola Spaldin from ETH Zurich, together with their colleague Alexander Balatsky from Nordita, Stockholm University, received the contract signed by the EU confirming the extraordinary 14 million euro funding. With this funding, they will join their expertise to look into the heart of materials. Using the large research facilities at PSI, they plan to uncover new quantum effects which up to now have been overlooked or could not be seen by previously employed methods. They will also design new materials with useful quantum properties. Such new properties could be of use for data processing or data storage in the future and thus become the backbone of future electronics for the benefit of our Society.

11 May 2018

A theory for the gapless field-induced quantum spin-liquid phase of α−RuCl3

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The material α−RuCl3 continues to garner attention as the current poster child for realising the Kitaev model. New work places recent experimental observations on a solid theoretical footing, and concludes that the physics of α−RuCl3 is not dominated by Kitaev interactions.

3 May 2018

Spin ice goes quantum

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Numerous intriguing behaviours have been observed already in magnetic materials known as spin ices. But now for the first time direct manifestations of quantum mechanical effects have been seen in such a system.
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Giant multiphoton absorption points towards new methods for THz quantum control

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.
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Coupled quantum wires realize Abelian and non-Abelian topological order in two-dimensional space

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
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Frustratingly disordered

A study of how disorder affects a frustrated magnet reveals a surprising robustness of the underlying quantum many-body state, and provides evidence for emerging quantum phenomena induced by disorder. The full findings can be read in Nature Communications
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Dr. Nan Xu awarded SPS 2017 Prize in Condensed Matter Physics

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 QTC member and joint postdoc of Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
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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
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First experimental observation of new type of entanglement in a 2D quantum material

Scientists from PSI and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have shown experimentally, for the first time, a quantum phase transition in strontium copper borate, the only material to date that realizes the famous Shastry–Sutherland quantum many-body model.
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First direct look at how electrons ‘dance’ with vibrating atoms

Highly precise measurements of iron selenide show how electrons move in sync with atomic vibrations rippling through the quantum material. The experiments were carried out at the LCLS x-ray free-electron laser of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and at Stanford University by a team including Quantum Technologies Collaboration board member Simon Gerber. The findings have been recently published in Science.
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Nondestructive imaging of atomically thin nanostructures buried in silicon

A team of researchers including Photon Sciences division head Gabriel Aeppli have demonstrated the first non-destructive imaging of atomically thin nanostructures in silicon. Such structures are the building blocks of quantum devices for physics research and are likely to serve as key components of devices for next-generation classical and quantum information processing. Until now, the characteristics of buried dopant nanostructures could only be inferred from destructive techniques and/or the performance of the final electronic device; this severely limits engineering and manufacture of real-world devices based on atomic-scale lithography. In work recently published in Science Advances, the team use scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) to image and electronically characterize three-dimensional phosphorus nanostructures fabricated via scanning tunneling microscope based lithography.

22 May 2017


Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

For the first time, researchers have produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute, in collaboration with their research partners, published the findings in the journal Nature Communications.

19 May 2017


Distinct, but not so different

Among superconducting materials, CeCoIn5 stands out as a rare case where superconductivity gives rise to magnetic order. An international team led by PSI physicist Michel Kenzelmann now reports that when small amounts of impurities are implanted into CeCoIn5, then two distinct magnetic phases appear — and these are surprisingly similar to one another.
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A breakthrough on Weyl semimetals

In their recent paper, Distinct Evolutions of Weyl fermion quasiparticles and Fermi arcs with bulk band topology in Weyl semimetals, two MARVEL groups — led by Prof. Ming Shi and Dr Nan Xu at PSI for the experimental part, and with Prof. Oleg Yazyev and Dr Gabriel Autès at EPFL for the theoretical side — joined forces to shed light (and soft X-rays) on the relationship between the bulk band topology in Weyl semimetals and two measurable signatures of Weyl fermion quasiparticles: magneto-transport effects in the bulk, and Fermi arcs on the surface.

16 March 2017

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3-D X-ray imaging makes the finest details of a computer chip visible

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Researchers at the PSI have made detailed 3-D X-ray images of a commercially available computer chip. In their experiment, they examined a small piece that they had cut out of the chip beforehand. This sample remained undamaged throughout the measurement. It is a major challenge for manufacturers to determine if, in the end, the structure of their chips conforms to the specifications. Thus these results represent one important application of an X-ray tomography method that the PSI researchers have been developing for several years.
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Switzerland at the Quantum Crossroads document endorsed by QTC@PSI members

“Switzerland at the Quantum Crossroads” outlines the current quantum science and technology landscape in Switzerland, explains the promises of this technology and outlines the required steps for Switzerland to leverage its leadership in this space.

5 December 2016

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SwissFEL inauguration

Media Releases Large Research Facilities SwissFEL

Today, on 5 December 2016, the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI held an inauguration ceremony for its new large-scale research facility SwissFEL, with Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation, in attendance.

4 October 2016

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ERC funding of €2.4 million for research on fundamental interactions in magnets

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Christian Rüegg has been awarded a prestigious Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). With this funding he will continue to investigate how the smallest magnetic building blocks of matter interact.

4 July 2016

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Controlling Quantum States Atom by Atom

A method to precisely alter the quantum mechanical states of electrons within an array of quantum boxes has been developped by an international consortium also including PSI. The method can be used to investigate the interactions between various types of atoms and electrons, which is essential for future quantum technologies.

17. March 2016

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New particle could form the basis of energy-saving electronics

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Materials Research Matter and Material

The Weyl fermion, just discovered in the past year, moves through materials practically without resistance. Now researchers are showing how it could be put to use in electronic components.

27. January 2016

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Slowed down current could point the way to energy-saving computers

Media Releases Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

Computers and other electronic devices account for a substantial portion of worldwide energy use. With today’s technologies, it is not possible to reduce this energy consumption significantly any further; chips in the energy-saving electronics of the future will hence have to be made from novel materials. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have now found important clues in the search for such materials.

12. November 2015

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Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

In a series of experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS, physicists from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have discovered a particle, the existence of which was predicted eighty-six years ago. It is a member of the particle family that also includes the electron, the carrier of electrical currents. The particle now discovered is massless and can exist only within a special class of materials known as Weyl semi-metals.

30. July 2014


Insulator makes electrons move in an ordered way

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Materials Research Matter and Material

Researchers at the PSI, the EPFL and the Chinese Academy of Science, have proven that the material SmB6 shows all the properties of a so called topological insulator – a material with electric currents flowing along its surface with all of them being polarized. Here, the property is very robust, i.e. the only current that can flow is spin polarized and is not easily destroyed by small irregularities in the structure or composition of the material. Spin polarized currents are necessary for spintronics, electronics using the electrons’ spin.