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Magnetic resonance with quantum microwaves

Abstract : In usual electron-spin resonance (ESR) experiments, the coupling between spins and their electromagnetic environment is quite weak, severely limiting the sensitivity of the measurements. Using a Josephson parametric microwave amplifier combined with high-quality factor superconducting micro-resonators cooled at millikelvin temperatures, this work reports the design and implementation of an ESR setup where the detection sensitivity is limited by quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field instead of thermal or technical noise. Pulsed ESR measurements on an ensemble of Bismuth donors in Silicon spins demonstrate a sensitivity of 1700 spins within a single Hahn echo with unit signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio. The sensitivity of the setup is improved one step further by generating squeezed vacuum in the detection waveguide, reducing the amount of noise beyond the quantum limit. The high-quality factors and small mode volume superconducting microwave ESR resonator developed for enhanced sensitivity also enhances the spin-resonator coupling up to the point where quantum fluctuations have a dramatic effect on the spin dynamics. As a consequence, the spin spontaneous emission of microwave photons in the resonator is dramatically enhanced by the Purcell effect, making it the dominant spin relaxation mechanism. The relaxation rate is increased by three orders of magnitude when the spins are tuned to resonance, showing that spin relaxation can be engineered and controlled on-demand. Our results provide a novel and general way to initialize spin systems into their ground state, with applications in magnetic resonance and quantum information processing.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01496176, version 1


Audrey Bienfait. Magnetic resonance with quantum microwaves. Quantum Physics [quant-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLS297⟩. ⟨tel-01496176⟩



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