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SAW-driven single-electron quantum devices with optical readout of the spin


The proposal is aimed at the experimental development of a novel solid-state quantum computation scheme and its interface to quantum optics. The computation scheme, put forward at the University of Cambridge, uses the spin of an electron trapped in the dynamic potential associated with a surface acoustic wave (SAW) as a “flying” qubit. The capture of single electrons in moving quantum dots occurs when the SAW passes along a depleted 1D channel. Channels in parallel provide the set of qubits, forming the core of a SAW-based quantum processor. The objective of this proposal is the development of such SAW-driven single-electron quantum devices and the optical readout of the spin of the electron to extend the capabilities of the quantum processor into the optical domain for quantum communication. A lateral n-p junction will be introduced into a GaAs heterostructure, where each electron recombines, leading to single-photon emission. The measurement of the polarization of the emitted photon will determine the spin of the electron, since the conservation of the angular momentum dictates that the photon will have left or right circular polarization depending on the sign of the component of the electron’s spin in the direction of propagation of the photon. Therefore, the flying-qubit processing scheme may permit the distribution of quantum information quickly over large distances across the quantum circuit, to interface with quantum memory registers at fixed localizations or static qubits, and to transfer a qubit from an electron in a quantum dot to a polarized photon. In addition, the fact that the flux directly measures the average spin alleviates the need for single-shot spin or photon measurements and greatly improves the signal-noise ratio. The cutting-edge research of this proposal will permit the fellow to acquire a strong hands-on experience on the most advanced techniques of nanoelectronics, which will have an enormous impact on his career development.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/computer hardware/quantum computer

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
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Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 171 867,63
Administrative Contact
Edna Murphy (Ms.)