Readout and control of a single nuclear spin with a metastable electron spin ancilla

Sang Yun Lee, Matthias Widmann, Torsten Rendler, Marcus W. Doherty, Thomas M. Babinec, Sen Yang, Moritz Eyer, Petr Siyushev, Birgit J.M. Hausmann, Marko Loncar, Zoltán Bodrog, Adam Gali, Neil B. Manson, Helmut Fedder, Jörg Wrachtrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Electron and nuclear spins associated with point defects in insulators are promising systems for solid-state quantum technology. The electron spin is usually used for readout and addressing, and nuclear spins are used as exquisite quantum bits and memory systems. With these systems, single-shot readout of single nuclear spins as well as entanglement, aided by the electron spin, have been shown. Although the electron spin in this example is essential for readout, it usually limits the nuclear spin coherence, leading to a quest for defects with spin-free ground states. Here, we isolate a hitherto unidentified defect in diamond and use it at room temperature to demonstrate optical spin polarization and readout with exceptionally high contrast (up to 45%), coherent manipulation of an individual excited triplet state spin, and coherent nuclear spin manipulation using the triplet electron spin as a metastable ancilla. We demonstrate nuclear magnetic resonance and Rabi oscillations of the uncoupled nuclear spin in the spin-free electronic ground state. Our study demonstrates that nuclei coupled to single metastable electron spins are useful quantum systems with long memory times, in spite of electronic relaxation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    Lee, S. Y., Widmann, M., Rendler, T., Doherty, M. W., Babinec, T. M., Yang, S., Eyer, M., Siyushev, P., Hausmann, B. J. M., Loncar, M., Bodrog, Z., Gali, A., Manson, N. B., Fedder, H., & Wrachtrup, J. (2013). Readout and control of a single nuclear spin with a metastable electron spin ancilla. Nature Nanotechnology, 8(7), 487-492.