Journal article

Coherent creation and destruction of orbital wavepackets in Si:P with electrical and optical read-out

The ability to control dynamics of quantum states by optical interference, and subsequent electrical read-out, is crucial for solid state quantum technologies. Ramsey interference has been successfully observed for spins in silicon and nitrogen vacancy centres in diamond, and for orbital motion in InAs quantum dots. Here we demonstrate terahertz optical excitation, manipulation and destruction via Ramsey interference of orbital wavepackets in Si: P with electrical read-out. We show milliradian control over the wavefunction phase for the two-level system formed by the 1s and 2p states. The results have been verified by all-optical echo detection methods, sensitive only to coherent excitations in the sample. The experiments open a route to exploitation of donors in silicon for atom trap physics, with concomitant potential for quantum computing schemes, which rely on orbital superpositions to, for example, gate the magnetic exchange interactions between impurities.


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