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Nano-Trapped Molecules Are Potential Path to Quantum Devices


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With a nano-ring-based toroidal trap, cold polar molecules near the gray shaded surface approaching the central region may be trapped within a nanometer scale volume.

Researchers have determined how they might take advantage of molecular states, to advance computers and storage devices.

Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee have determined how physicists could exploit a molecule's energy to advance computers and storage devices.  

"For years, physicists have searched for ways to take advantage of...molecular states, including how they could be used in high-precision instruments or as an information storage device for applications such as quantum computing," says ORNL researcher Ali Passian.  

Slower molecules can be trapped by a ring toroidal nanostructure when it interacts with laser light, and this occurs as the nano-trap creates a highly localized force field surrounding the molecules.  

The researchers want to use scanning probe microscopy techniques to access individual nano-traps that would be part of an array.  "Once trapped, we can interrogate the molecules for their spectroscopic and electromagnetic properties and study them in isolation without disturbance from the neighboring molecules," Passian says.

The researchers then want to build actual nano-traps and conduct experiments to determine the feasibility of fabricating a large number of traps on a single chip. "If successful, these experiments could help enable information storage and processing devices that greatly exceed what we have today, thus bringing us closer to the realization of quantum computers," Passian says.

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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