New device brings scientists closer to breakthrough in quantum materials

New device brings scientists closer to breakthrough in quantum materials

New device brings scientists closer to breakthrough in quantum materials

Wei Bao, Nebraska Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new photonics device that could bring scientists one step closer to the “holy grail” of finding the global minimum of mathematical formulations at room temperature. Finding this illusory mathematical value would be a major step forward in opening up new options for simulations involving quantum materials.

Many scientific questions depend heavily on being able to find that mathematical value, said Wei Bao, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Nebraska. Searching can be difficult 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-enhancing devices at extremely low temperatures, near about minus 270 degrees Celsius. Bao said the Nebraska-UC Berkeley team “has found a way to combine the advantages of light and matter at room temperature, suitable for this great optimization challenge.”

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

“Our breakthrough is made possible by the adoption of solution-grown halide perovskite, a famous material for solar cell communities, and its growth under nanoconfinement,” Bao said. “This will produce exceptional large smooth single crystal crystals with high optical homogeneity never before reported at room temperature for a polariton system.”

Bao is the corresponding author of an article reporting this research, published in Natural materials.

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

Its material properties could also allow 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 towards the much-sought-after room-temperature solid-state quantum simulation platform.

“The solution synthesis method we reported with excellent thickness control for the ultra-homogeneous large halide perovskite can enable 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 computational 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 expected to transform the fields of information processing, sensing, communication, imaging, and more.

Nebraska has made quantum science and engineering one of its big challenges. It was named a research priority because of the university’s expertise in this area and the impact research can have on this exciting and promising field.

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More information:
Renjie Tao et al, halogenated perovskites allow the XY polaritonic spin Hamiltonian at room temperature, Natural materials (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41563-022-01276-4

Provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Quote: New device brings scientists closer to quantum materials breakthrough (Jun 17, 2022) Retrieved June 18, 2022 from

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