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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Coherent manipulation of single electrons with optical photons

In a study published in Advanced Theory and Simulations, researchers simulated remarkably dynamic behaviors of single electrons in quantum liquids excited by laser pulses.

Scientific Achievement

The remarkable nonequilibrium quantum dynamics of a single electron in a quantum liquid under the excitation of ultrafast laser pulses was computationally visualized.

Significance and Impact

The simulation predicts an optical approach to manipulate a single electron state from the femto- to pico-second time scale. It also suggests a new kind of single-electron-based quantum information system with optical addressability. 

Research Details

  • We performed real-time density functional simulation on the dynamic behaviors of a single electron in superfluid helium-4. 
  • We showed that a femtosecond laser pulse can drive the electron into Rabi oscillations and force the electron wavefunction to end up at various intriguing final states.
  • The Carbon cluster at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) was used for the simulation work.

Work was performed at CNM.


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About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.osti​.gov/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​-​a​t​-​a​-​G​lance.

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