New device brings scientists closer to quantum materials breakthrough

New device brings scientists closer to quantum materials breakthrough

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 photonic device that could bring scientists closer to the “holy grail” of finding the global minimum of mathematical formulations at room temperature. Finding that illusory mathematical value would be a major advance in opening up new options for quantum materials simulations.

Many scientific questions rely heavily on being able to find that 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 – often used in quantum physics – are extremely large.

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

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

“Our breakthrough is made possible by using solution-grown halide perovskite, a famous material for solar cell communities, and growing them under nano-confinement,” Bao said. “This will produce exceptionally smooth single-crystalline large crystals with great optical homogeneity, previously never reported at room temperature for a polariton system.”

Bao is the corresponding author of a paper on this research, published in Natural materials

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

To be material properties: could also enable future studies at room temperature instead of ultra-cold temperatures. Bao said: “We have just started exploring the potential of a room temperature system for solving complex problems. Our work is a concrete step towards the long-sought room temperature solid-state quantum simulation platform.

“The solution synthesis method we reported with excellent thickness control for large ultrahomogeneous 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 methods and many other device applications, which were 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 prioritized quantum science and engineering as one of its major challenges. It was named a research priority due to the university’s expertise in this field and the impact the research can have on the exciting and promising field.

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

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

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