Coherent Singlet-Triplet Oscillations in a Silicon-Based Double Quantum Dot

Nature. 2012 Jan 18;481(7381):344-7. doi: 10.1038/nature10707.


Silicon is more than the dominant material in the conventional microelectronics industry: it also has potential as a host material for emerging quantum information technologies. Standard fabrication techniques already allow the isolation of single electron spins in silicon transistor-like devices. Although this is also possible in other materials, silicon-based systems have the advantage of interacting more weakly with nuclear spins. Reducing such interactions is important for the control of spin quantum bits because nuclear fluctuations limit quantum phase coherence, as seen in recent experiments in GaAs-based quantum dots. Advances in reducing nuclear decoherence effects by means of complex control still result in coherence times much shorter than those seen in experiments on large ensembles of impurity-bound electrons in bulk silicon crystals. Here we report coherent control of electron spins in two coupled quantum dots in an undoped Si/SiGe heterostructure and show that this system has a nuclei-induced dephasing time of 360 nanoseconds, which is an increase by nearly two orders of magnitude over similar measurements in GaAs-based quantum dots. The degree of phase coherence observed, combined with fast, gated electrical initialization, read-out and control, should motivate future development of silicon-based quantum information processors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.