New device brings scientists closer to the discovery of quantum materials

Wei Bao, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Nebraska. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new photonic device that could bring scientists closer to the “holy grail” of finding the global minimum of room-temperature mathematical formulations. Finding this elusive mathematical value would go a long way in opening up new options for simulations involving quantum materials.

Many scientific questions depend heavily on being able to find this mathematical value, said Wei Bao, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Nebraska. The search can be challenging even for modern computers, especially when the dimensions of the parameters – commonly used in quantum physics – are extremely large.

Until now, researchers could only do this with polariton-optimizing devices at extremely low temperatures, close to minus 270 degrees Celsius. Bao said the Nebraska-UC Berkeley team “found a way to combine the advantages of light and matter at room temperature right for this major optimization challenge.”

The devices use half-light, half-matter quantum quasi-particles known as exciton-polaritons, which have recently emerged as a solid-state analog photonics simulation platform for quantum physics, such as Bose-Einstein condensation and complex XY spin models.

“Our breakthrough is made possible by the adoption of solution-cultured halide perovskite, a famous material for solar cell communities, and cultivation under nanoconfinement,” said Bao. “This will produce exceptional smooth monocrystalline large crystals with great optical homogeneity, never previously reported at room temperature for a polariton system.”

Bao is the corresponding author of an article reporting this research, published in Nature’s Materials.

“This is exciting,” said Xiang Zhang, a contributor to Bao, now president of the University of Hong Kong but who completed this research as a faculty member of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley. “We show that the XY spin lattice with a large number of coherently coupled condensates can be constructed as a lattice up to 10×10 in size.”

Its material properties may also allow for future studies at room temperature rather than ultracold temperatures. Bao said, “We are just beginning to explore the potential of a room-temperature system to solve complex problems. Our work is a concrete step toward the long-sought-after room-temperature solid-state quantum simulation platform.

“The solution synthesis method we reported with excellent thickness control for large ultra-homogeneous halides perovskite can allow many interesting studies at room temperature without the need for complicated and expensive equipment and materials,” added Bao. It also opens the door to simulating large calculation approaches and many other device applications, previously inaccessible at room temperature.

This process is essential in the highly competitive era of quantum technologies, which are set to transform the fields of information processing, sensing, communication, imaging, and more.

Nebraska has prioritized quantum science and engineering as one of its greatest challenges. It was named a research priority because of the university’s experience in this area and the impact that research can make in the exciting and promising field.


Improving quantum sensors by measuring the orientation of coherent spins within a diamond lattice


More information:
Renjie Tao et al, Halide perovskites allow XY polaritonic Hamiltonian spin at room temperature, Nature’s Materials (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41563-022-01276-4

Provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Quote: New device brings scientists closer to advancing quantum materials (2022, June 17) retrieved June 18, 2022 at https://phys.org/news/2022-06-device-scientists-closer-quantum-materials. html

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