Infoscience

Journal article

A molecular quantum spin network controlled by a single qubit

Scalable quantum technologies require an unprecedented combination of precision and complexity for designing stable structures of well-controllable quantum systems on the nanoscale. It is a challenging task to find a suitable elementary building block, of which a quantum network can be comprised in a scalable way. We present the working principle of such a basic unit, engineered using molecular chemistry, whose collective control and readout are executed using a nitrogen vacancy (NV) center in diamond. The basic unit we investigate is a synthetic polyproline with electron spins localized on attached molecular side groups separated by a few nanometers. We demonstrate the collective readout and coherent manipulation of very few (<= 6) of these S= 1/2 electronic spin systems and access their direct dipolar coupling tensor. Our results show that it is feasible to use spin-labeled peptides as a resource for a molecular qubit-based network, while at the same time providing simple optical readout of single quantum states through NV magnetometry. This work lays the foundation for building arbitrary quantum networks using well-established chemistry methods, which has many applications ranging from mapping distances in single molecules to quantum information processing.

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