Publications

Quantum sensing
Degen, C. L., Reinhard, Friedemann and Cappellaro, P
Rev. Mod. Phys. , Volume 89(3)
July 2017

Abstract: “Quantum sensing” describes the use of a quantum system, quantum properties, or quantum phenomena to perform a measurement of a physical quantity. Historical examples of quantum sensors include magnetometers based on superconducting quantum interference devices and atomic vapors or atomic clocks. More recently, quantum sensing has become a distinct and rapidly growing branch of research within the area of quantum science and technology, with the most common platforms being spin qubits, trapped ions, and flux qubits. The field is expected to provide new opportunities—especially with regard to high sensitivity and precision—in applied physics and other areas of science. This review provides an introduction to the basic principles, methods, and concepts of quantum sensing from the viewpoint of the interested experimentalist.

Multiple-Quantum Transitions and Charge-Induced Decoherence of Donor Nuclear Spins in Silicon
Franke, David P., Pflüger, Moritz P. D., Itoh, Kohei M. and Brandt, Martin S.
PRL , Volume 118
June 2017

Abstract: We study single- and multiquantum transitions of the nuclear spins of an ensemble of ionized arsenic donors in silicon and find quadrupolar effects on the coherence times, which we link to fluctuating electrical field gradients present after the application of light and bias voltage pulses. To determine the coherence times of superpositions of all orders in the 4-dimensional Hilbert space, we use a phase-cycling technique and find that, when electrical effects were allowed to decay, these times scale as expected for a fieldlike decoherence mechanism such as the interaction with surrounding 29Si nuclear spins.

Rare region effects and dynamics near the many-body localization transition.
Agarwal, Kartiek, Altman, Ehud, Demler, Eugene, Gopalakrishnan, Sarang, Huse, David A. and Knap, Michael
Annalen der Physik, Special issue on Many-Body Localization
January 2017

Abstract: The low-frequency response of systems near the many-body localization phase transition, on either side of the transition, is dominated by contributions from rare regions that are locally “in the other phase”, i.e., rare localized regions in a system that is typically thermal, or rare thermal regions in a system that is typically localized. Rare localized regions affect the properties of the thermal phase, especially in one dimension, by acting as bottlenecks for transport and the growth of entanglement, whereas rare thermal regions in the localized phase act as local “baths” and dominate the low-frequency response of the MBL phase. We review recent progress in understanding these rare-region effects, and discuss some of the open questions associated with them: in particular, whether and in what circumstances a single rare thermal region can destabilize the many-body localized phase.

Floquet prethermalization and regimes of heating in a periodically driven, interacting quantum system.
Sci. Rep. , Volume 7
2017

Abstract: We study the regimes of heating in the periodically driven O(N)-model, which represents a generic model for interacting quantum many-body systems. By computing the absorbed energy with a non-equilibrium Keldysh Green's function approach, we establish three dynamical regimes: at short times a single-particle dominated regime, at intermediate times a stable Floquet prethermal regime in which the system ceases to absorb, and at parametrically late times a thermalizing regime. Our simulations suggest that in the thermalizing regime the absorbed energy grows algebraically in time with an the exponent that approaches the universal value of 1/2, and is thus significantly slower than linear Joule heating. Our results demonstrate the parametric stability of prethermal states in a generic many-body system driven at frequencies that are comparable to its microscopic scales. This paves the way for realizing exotic quantum phases, such as time crystals or interacting topological phases, in the prethermal regime of interacting Floquet systems.

Dynamical Cooper pairing in non-equilibrium electron-phonon systems.
Knap, Michael, Babadi, Mehrtash, Rafael, Gil, Martin, Ivar and Demler, Eugene
Phys. Rev. B , Volume 94
December 2016

Abstract: We analyze Cooper pairing instabilities in strongly driven electron-phonon systems. The light-induced nonequilibrium state of phonons results in a simultaneous increase of the superconducting coupling constant and the electron scattering. We demonstrate that the competition between these effects leads to an enhanced superconducting transition temperature in a broad range of parameters. Our results may explain the observed transient enhancement of superconductivity in several classes of materials upon irradiation with high intensity pulses of terahertz light, and may pave new ways for engineering high-temperature light-induced superconducting states.

Finite-temperature scaling close to Ising-nematic quantum critical points in two-dimensional metals
Punk, Matthias
Phys. Rev. B , Volume 94(195113)
November 2016

Abstract: We study finite-temperature properties of metals close to an Ising-nematic quantum critical point in two spatial dimensions. In particular we show that at any finite temperature there is a regime where order parameter fluctuations are characterized by a dynamical critical exponent z=2, in contrast to z=3 found at zero temperature. Our results are based on a simple Eliashberg-type approach, which gives rise to a boson self-energy proportional to Ω/γ(T) at small momenta, where γ(T) is the temperature dependent fermion scattering rate. These findings might shed some light on recent Monte Carlo simulations at finite temperature, where results consistent with z=2 were found.

Ultrafast many-body interferometry of impurities coupled to a Fermi sea
Cetina, Marko, Jag, Michael, Lous, Rianne S., Fritsche, Isabella, Walraven, Jook T. M., Grimm, Rudolf, Levinsen, Jesper, Parish, Meera M., Schmidt, Richard, Knap, Michael and Demler, Eugene
Science , Volume 354(6308), page: 96-99
October 2016

Abstract: The fastest possible collective response of a quantum many-body system is related to its excitations at the highest possible energy. In condensed matter systems, the time scale for such “ultrafast” processes is typically set by the Fermi energy. Taking advantage of fast and precise control of interactions between ultracold atoms, we observed nonequilibrium dynamics of impurities coupled to an atomic Fermi sea. Our interferometric measurements track the nonperturbative quantum evolution of a fermionic many-body system, revealing in real time the formation dynamics of quasi-particles and the quantum interference between attractive and repulsive states throughout the full depth of the Fermi sea. Ultrafast time-domain methods applied to strongly interacting quantum gases enable the study of the dynamics of quantum matter under extreme nonequilibrium conditions.

Adiabatic Quantum Search in Open Systems
Wild, Dominik S., Gopalakrishnan, Sarang, Knap, Michael, Yao, Norman Y. and Lukin, Mikhail D.
Phys. Rev. Lett. , Volume 117(150501)
October 2016

Abstract: Adiabatic quantum algorithms represent a promising approach to universal quantum computation. In isolated systems, a key limitation to such algorithms is the presence of avoided level crossings, where gaps become extremely small. In open quantum systems, the fundamental robustness of adiabatic algorithms remains unresolved. Here, we study the dynamics near an avoided level crossing associated with the adiabatic quantum search algorithm, when the system is coupled to a generic environment. At zero temperature, we find that the algorithm remains scalable provided the noise spectral density of the environment decays sufficiently fast at low frequencies. By contrast, higher order scattering processes render the algorithm inefficient at any finite temperature regardless of the spectral density, implying that no quantum speedup can be achieved. Extensions and implications for other adiabatic quantum algorithms will be discussed.

Regimes of heating and dynamical response in driven many-body localized systems
Gopalakrishnan, Sarang, Knap, Michael and Demler, Eugene
Phys. Rev. B , Volume 94(094201)
September 2016

Abstract: We explore the response of many-body localized (MBL) systems to periodic driving of arbitrary amplitude, focusing on the rate at which they exchange energy with the drive. To this end, we introduce an infinite-temperature generalization of the effective “heating rate” in terms of the spread of a random walk in energy space. We compute this heating rate numerically and estimate it analytically in various regimes. When the drive amplitude is much smaller than the frequency, this effective heating rate is given by linear response theory with a coefficient that is proportional to the optical conductivity; in the opposite limit, the response is nonlinear and the heating rate is a nontrivial power law of time. We discuss the mechanisms underlying this crossover in the MBL phase. We comment on implications for the subdiffusive thermal phase near the MBL transition, and for response in imperfectly isolated MBL systems.

Spin structure factors of chiral quantum spin liquids on the kagome lattice
Halimeh, Jad C. and Punk, Matthias
Phys. Rev. B , Volume 94(104413)
September 2016

Abstract: We calculate dynamical spin structure factors for gapped chiral spin liquid states in the spin-1/2 Heisenberg antiferromagnet on the kagome lattice using Schwinger-boson mean-field theory. In contrast to static (equal-time) structure factors, the dynamical structure factor shows clear signatures of time-reversal symmetry breaking for chiral spin liquid states. In particular, momentum inversion k→−k symmetry as well as the sixfold rotation symmetry around the Γ point are lost. We highlight other interesting features, such as a relatively flat onset of the two-spinon continuum for the cuboc1 state. Our work is based on the projective symmetry group classification of time-reversal symmetry breaking Schwinger-boson mean-field states by Messio, Lhuillier, and Misguich.

Coulomb potentials and Taylor expansions in time-dependent density-functional theory
Fournais, Søren, Lampert, Jonas, Lewin, Mathieu and Østergaard Sørensen, Thomas
Phys. Rev. A , Volume 92(062510)
June 2016

Abstract: We investigate when Taylor expansions can be used to prove the Runge-Gross theorem, which is at the foundation of time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT). We start with a general analysis of the conditions for the Runge-Gross argument, especially the time differentiability of the density. The latter should be questioned in the presence of singular (e.g., Coulomb) potentials. Then we show that a singular potential in a one-body operator considerably decreases the class of time-dependent external potentials to which the original argument can be applied. A two-body singularity has an even stronger impact and an external potential is essentially incompatible with it. For the Coulomb interaction and all reasonable initial many-body states, the Taylor expansion only exists to a finite order, except for constant external potentials. Therefore, high-order Taylor expansions are not the right tool to study atoms and molecules in TDDFT.

Ubiquity of Exciton Localization in Cryogenic Carbon Nanotubes
Hofmann, Matthias, Noe, Jonathan, Kneer, Alexander, Crochet, Jared and Högele, Alexander
Nano Lett. , Volume 16(5), page: 2958–2962
April 2016

Abstract: We present photoluminescence studies of individual semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes at room and cryogenic temperatures. From the analysis of spatial and spectral features of nanotube photoluminescence, we identify characteristic signatures of unintentional exciton localization. Moreover, we quantify the energy scale of exciton localization potentials as ranging from a few to a few tens of millielectronvolts and stemming from both environmental disorder and shallow covalent side-wall defects. Our results establish disorder-induced crossover from the diffusive to the localized regime of nanotube excitons at cryogenic temperatures as a ubiquitous phenomenon in micelle-encapsulated and as-grown carbon nanotubes.

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