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Magnetic resonance at the quantum limit and beyond - Patrice Bertet

CEA saclay

salle 208a, aile sud LPS, bât 510

The detection and characterization of paramagnetic species by electron-spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy has numerous applications in chemistry, biology, and materials science [1]. Most ESR spectrometers rely on the inductive detection of the small microwave signals emitted by the spins during their Larmor precession into a microwave resonator in which they are embedded. Using the tools offered by circuit Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), namely high quality factor superconducting micro-resonators and Josephson parametric amplifiers that operate at the quantum limit when cooled at 20mK [2], we investigate magnetic resonance in a new regime where the quantum nature of the microwave field plays a role and the spin sensitivity is correspondingly enhanced. We report an increase of the sensitivity of inductively detected ESR by up to 5 orders of magnitude over the state-of-the-art, enabling the detection of 65 Bismuth donor spins in silicon with a signal-to-noise ratio of 1 in one second of integration time [3,4]. We also demonstrate that the energy relaxation time of the spins is limited by spontaneous emission of microwave photons into the measurement line via the resonator [5], which opens the way to on-demand spin initialization via the Purcell effect. Finally, we show that the sensitivity can be enhanced beyond the quantum limit by using quantum squeezed states of the microwave field [6].

[1] A. Schweiger and G. Jeschke, Principles of Pulse Electron Magnetic Resonance (Oxford University Press, 2001)

[2] X. Zhou et al., Physical Review B 89, 214517 (2014).

[3] A. Bienfait et al., Nature Nanotechnology 11(3), 253-257 (2016)

[4] S. Probst et al., arxiv (2017)

[5] A. Bienfait et al., Nature 531, 74 (2016)

[6] A. Bienfait et al., Phys. Rev. X 7, 041011 (2017).


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