Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1307.6007 (P. Peddibhotla et al.)

Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor

P. Peddibhotla, F. Xue, H. I. T. Hauge, S. Assali, E. P. A. M. Bakkers, M. Poggio
Soon after the first measurements of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in a condensed matter system, Bloch predicted the presence of statistical fluctuations proportional to $1/\sqrt{N}$ in the polarization of an ensemble of $N$ spins. First observed by Sleator et al., so-called "spin noise" has recently emerged as a critical ingredient in nanometer-scale magnetic resonance imaging (nanoMRI). This prominence is a direct result of MRI resolution improving to better than 100 nm^3, a size-scale in which statistical spin fluctuations begin to dominate the polarization dynamics. We demonstrate a technique that creates spin order in nanometer-scale ensembles of nuclear spins by harnessing these fluctuations to produce polarizations both larger and narrower than the natural thermal distribution. We focus on ensembles containing ~10^6 phosphorus and hydrogen spins associated with single InP and GaP nanowires (NWs) and their hydrogen-containing adsorbate layers. We monitor, control, and capture fluctuations in the ensemble's spin polarization in real-time and store them for extended periods. This selective capture of large polarization fluctuations may provide a route for enhancing the weak magnetic signals produced by nanometer-scale volumes of nuclear spins. The scheme may also prove useful for initializing the nuclear hyperfine field of electron spin qubits in the solid-state.
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