We theoretically model the spin-orbit interaction in silicon quantum dot devices, relevant for quantum computation and spintronics. Our model is based on a modified effective mass approach with spin-valley boundary conditions, derived from the interface symmetry under presence of perpendicular to the interface electric field. The g-factor renormalization in the two lowest valley states is explained by the interface-induced spin-orbit 2D (3D) interaction, favoring intervalley spin-flip tunneling over intravalley processes. We show that the quantum dot level structure makes only negligible higher order effects to the g-factor. We calculate the g-factor as a function of the magnetic field direction, which is sensitive to the interface symmetry. We identify spin-qubit dephasing sweet spots at certain directions of the magnetic field, where the g-factor renormalization is zeroed: these include perpendicular to the interface magnetic field, and also in-plain directions, the latter being defined by the interface-induced spin-orbit constants. The g-factor dependence on electric field opens the possibility for fast all-electric manipulation of an encoded, few electron spin-qubit, without the need of a nanomagnet or a nuclear spin-background. Our approach of an almost fully analytic theory allows for a deeper physical understanding of the importance of spin-orbit coupling to silicon spin qubits.
We investigate coupling an encoded spin qubit to a microwave resonator via qubit energy level curvature versus gate voltage. This approach enables quantum non-demolition readout with strength of tens to hundred MHz all while the qubit stays at its full sweet-spot to charge noise, with zero dipole moment. A "dispersive-like" spin readout approach similar to circuit-QED but avoiding the Purcell effect is proposed. With the addition of gate voltage modulation, selective longitudinal readout and n-qubit entanglement-by-measurement are possible.
Spin qubits composed of either one or three electrons are realized in a quantum dot formed at a Si/SiO_2-interface in isotopically enriched silicon. Using pulsed electron spin resonance, we perform coherent control of both types of qubits, addressing them via an electric field dependent g-factor. We perform randomized benchmarking and find that both qubits can be operated with high fidelity. Surprisingly, we find that the g-factors of the one-electron and three-electron qubits have an approximately linear but opposite dependence as a function of the applied dc electric field. We develop a theory to explain this g-factor behavior based on the spin-valley coupling that results from the sharp interface. The outer "shell" electron in the three-electron qubit exists in the higher of the two available conduction-band valley states, in contrast with the one-electron case, where the electron is in the lower valley. We formulate a modified effective mass theory and propose that inter-valley spin-flip tunneling dominates over intra-valley spin-flips in this system, leading to a direct correlation between the spin-orbit coupling parameters and the g-factors in the two valleys. In addition to offering all-electrical tuning for single-qubit gates, the g-factor physics revealed here for one-electron and three-electron qubits offers potential opportunities for new qubit control approaches.
Silicon quantum dots are a leading approach for solid-state quantum bits. However, developing this technology is complicated by the multi-valley nature of silicon. Here we observe transport of individual electrons in a silicon CMOS-based double quantum dot under electron spin resonance. An anticrossing of the driven dot energy levels is observed when the Zeeman and valley splittings coincide. A detected anticrossing splitting of 60 MHz is interpreted as a direct measure of spin and valley mixing, facilitated by spin-orbit interaction in the presence of non-ideal interfaces. A lower bound of spin dephasing time of 63 ns is extracted. We also describe a possible experimental evidence of an unconventional spin-valley blockade, despite the assumption of non-ideal interfaces. This understanding of silicon spin-valley physics should enable better control and read-out techniques for the spin qubits in an all CMOS silicon approach.
Although silicon is a promising material for quantum computation, the degeneracy of the conduction band minima (valleys) must be lifted with a splitting sufficient to ensure formation of well-defined and long-lived spin qubits. Here we demonstrate that valley separation can be accurately tuned via electrostatic gate control in a metal-oxide-semiconductor quantum dot, providing splittings spanning 0.3 - 0.8 meV. The splitting varies linearly with applied electric field, with a ratio in agreement with atomistic tight-binding predictions. We demonstrate single-shot spin readout and measure the spin relaxation for different valley configurations and dot occupancies, finding one-electron lifetimes exceeding 2 seconds. Spin relaxation occurs via phonon emission due to spin-orbit coupling between the valley states, a process not previously anticipated for silicon quantum dots. An analytical theory describes the magnetic field dependence of the relaxation rate, including the presence of a dramatic rate enhancement (or hot-spot) when Zeeman and valley splittings coincide.
We describe a chip-based, solid-state analogue of cavity-QED utilizing acoustic phonons instead of photons. We show how long-lived and tunable acceptor impurity states in silicon nanomechanical cavities can play the role of a matter non-linearity for coherent phonons just as, e.g., the Josephson qubit plays in circuit-QED. Both strong coupling (number of Rabi oscillations ~ 100) and strong dispersive coupling (0.1-2 MHz) regimes can be reached in cavities in the 1-20 GHz range, enabling the control of single phonons, phonon-phonon interactions, dispersive phonon readout of the acceptor qubit, and compatibility with other optomechanical components such as phonon-photon translators. We predict explicit experimental signatures of the acceptor-cavity system.
A quantum mechanical superposition of a long-lived, localized phonon and a matter excitation is described. We identify a realization in strained silicon: a low-lying donor transition (P or Li) driven solely by acoustic phonons at wavelengths where high-Q phonon cavities can be built. This phonon-matter resonance is shown to enter the strongly coupled regime where the "vacuum" Rabi frequency exceeds the spontaneous phonon emission into non-cavity modes, phonon leakage from the cavity, and phonon anharmonicity and scattering. We introduce a micropillar distributed Bragg reflector Si/Ge cavity, where Q=10^5-10^6 and mode volumes V<=25*lambda^3 are reachable. These results indicate that single or many-body devices based on these systems are experimentally realizable.
We consider the evolution of a spin 1/2 (qubit) under the simultaneous continuous measurement of three non-commuting qubit operators sigma_x, sigma_y, sigma_z. For identical ideal detectors the qubit state evolves by approaching a pure state with a random direction in the Bloch vector space and by undergoing locally isotropic diffusion in the perpendicular directions. The quantum state conditioned on the complete detector record is used to assess the fidelity of classically inspired estimates based on running time averages and discrete time bin detector outputs.
We consider evolution of a double quantum dot (DQD) two-electron spin qubit which is continuously weakly measured with a linear charge detector (quantum point contact). Since the interaction between the spins of two electrons depends on their charge state, the charge measurement affects the state of two spins, and induces non-trivial spin dynamics. We consider the regimes of strong and weak coupling to the detector, and investigate the measurement-induced spin dynamics both analytically and numerically. We observe emergence of the negative-result evolution and the system stabilization due to an analog of quantum Zeno effect. Moreover, unitary evolution between the triplet and a singlet state is induced by the negative-result measurement. We demonstrate that these effects exist for both strong and weak coupling between the detector and the DQD system.
Coherent dynamics of a superconducting phase qubit is considered in the presence of both unitary evolution due to microwave driving and continuous non-unitary collapse due to negative-result measurement. In the case of a relatively weak driving, the qubit dynamics is dominated by the non-unitary evolution, and the qubit state tends to an asymptotically stable point on the Bloch sphere. This dynamics can be clearly distinguished from conventional decoherence by tracking the state purity and the measurement invariant (``murity''). When the microwave driving strength exceeds certain critical value, the dynamics changes to non-decaying oscillations: any initial state returns exactly to itself periodically in spite of non-unitary dynamics. The predictions can be verified using a modification of a recent experiment.
We have studied quantum coherent oscillations of two qubits under continuous measurement by a symmetrically coupled mesoscopic detector. The analysis is based on a Bayesian formalism that is applicable to individual quantum systems. Measurement continuously collapses the two-qubit system to one of the sub-spaces of the Bell basis. For a detector with linear response this corresponds to measurement of the total spin of the qubits. In the other extreme of purely quadratic response the operator \sigma_y^1 \sigma_y^2 + \sigma_z^1 \sigma_z^2 is measured. In both cases, collapse naturally leads to spontaneous entanglement which can be identified by measurement of the power spectrum and/or the average current of the detector. Asymmetry between the two qubits results in evolution between the different measurement subspaces. However, when the qubits are even weakly coupled to the detector, a kind of quantum Zeno effect cancels the gradual evolution and replaces it with rare, abrupt switching events. We obtain the asymptotic switching rates for these events and confirm them with numerical simulations. We show how such switching affects the observable power spectrum on different time scales.
We have analyzed theoretically the operation of the Bayesian quantum feedback of a solid-state qubit, designed to maintain perfect coherent oscillations in the qubit for arbitrarily long time. In particular, we have studied the feedback efficiency in presence of dephasing environment and detector nonideality. Also, we have analyzed the effect of qubit parameter deviations and studied the quantum feedback control of an energy-asymmetric qubit.
With the recent surge of interest in quantum computation, it has become very important to develop clear experimental tests for ``quantum behavior'' in a system. This issue has been addressed in the past in the form of the inequalities due to Bell and those due to Leggett and Garg. These inequalities concern the results of ideal projective measurements, however, which are experimentally difficult to perform in many proposed qubit designs, especially in many solid state qubit systems. Here, we show that weak continuous measurements, which are often practical to implement experimentally, can yield particularly clear signatures of quantum coherence, both in the measured correlation functions and in the measured power spectrum.
We analyze squeezing of the nanoresonator state produced by periodic measurement of position by a quantum point contact or a single-electron transistor. The mechanism of squeezing is the stroboscopic quantum nondemolition measurement generalized to the case of continuous measurement by a weakly coupled detector. The magnitude of squeezing is calculated for the harmonic and stroboscopic modulations of measurement, taking into account detector efficiency and nanoresonator quality factor. We also analyze the operation of the quantum feedback, which prevents fluctuations of the wavepacket center due to measurement back-action. Verification of the squeezed state can be performed in almost the same way as its preparation; similar procedure can also be used for the force detection with sensitivity beyond the standard quantum limit.
We show that the nanoresonator position can be squeezed significantly below the ground state level by measuring the nanoresonator with a quantum point contact or a single-electron transistor and applying a periodic voltage across the detector. The mechanism of squeezing is basically a generalization of quantum nondemolition measurement of an oscillator to the case of continuous measurement by a weakly coupled detector. The quantum feedback is necessary to prevent the ``heating'' due to measurement back-action. We also discuss a procedure of experimental verification of the squeezed state.
We develop a theory of quadratic quantum measurements by a mesoscopic detector. It is shown that quadratic measurements should have non-trivial quantum information properties, providing, for instance, a simple way of entangling two non-interacting qubits. We also calculate output spectrum of a quantum detector with both linear and quadratic response continuously monitoring coherent oscillations in two qubits.
We show that two identical solid-state qubits can be made fully entangled (starting from completely mixed state) with probability 1/4 just measuring them by a detector, equally coupled to the qubits. This happens in the case of repeated strong (projective) measurements as well as in a more realistic case of weak continuous measurement. In the latter case the entangled state can be identified by a flat spectrum of the detector shot noise, while the non-entangled state (probability 3/4) leads to a spectral peak at the Rabi frequency with the maximum peak-to-pedestal ratio of 32/3.
We have studied theoretically the basic operation of a quantum feedback loop designed to maintain a desired phase of quantum coherent oscillations in a single solid-state qubit. The degree of oscillations synchronization with external harmonic signal is calculated as a function of feedback strength, taking into account available bandwidth and coupling to environment. The feedback can efficiently suppress the dephasing of oscillations if the qubit coupling to the detector is stronger than coupling to environment.
We have developed a formalism suitable for calculation of the output spectrum of a detector continuously measuring quantum coherent oscillations in a solid-state qubit, starting from microscopic Bloch equations. The results coincide with that obtained using Bayesian and master equation approaches. The previous results are generalized to the cases of arbitrary detector response and finite detector temperature.
We have studied theoretically the basic operation of a quantum feedback loop designed to maintain the desired phase of quantum coherent oscillations in a two-level system. Such feedback can suppress the dephasing of oscillations due to interaction with environment. Prospective experiments can be realized using metallic single-electron devices or GaAs technology.