(R&D.com) Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science led by by Lee Bassett and Annemarie Exarhos, then a postdoctoral researcher have now demonstrated a new hardware platform based on isolated electron spins in a two-dimensional material. The electrons are trapped by defects in sheets of hexagonal boron nitride, a one-atom-thick semiconductor material, and the researchers were able to optically detect the system’s quantum states.
“This study is bringing together two major areas of scientific research,” Bassett says. “On one hand, there’s been a tremendous amount of work in expanding the library of 2-D materials and understanding the physics that they exhibit and the devices they can make. On the other hand, there’s the development of these different quantum architectures. And this is one of the first to bring them together to say ‘here’s a potentially room-temperature quantum architecture in a 2-D material.'” With nanotechnological advances producing an expanding library of 2-D materials to choose from, Bassett and his colleagues sought the one that would be most like a flat analog of bulk diamond.