Zero-field optical manipulation of magnetic ions in semiconductors
Controlling and monitoring individual spins is desirable for building spin-based devices, as well as implementing quantum information processing schemes. As with trapped ions in cold gases, magnetic ions trapped on a semiconductor lattice have uniform properties and relatively long spin lifetimes. Furthermore, diluted magnetic moments in semiconductors can be strongly coupled to the surrounding host, permitting optical or electrical spin manipulation. Here we describe the zero-field optical manipulation of a few hundred manganese ions in a single gallium arsenide quantum well. Optically created mobile electron spins dynamically generate an energy splitting of the ion spins and enable magnetic moment orientation solely by changing either photon helicity or energy. These polarized manganese spins precess in a transverse field, enabling measurements of the spin lifetimes. As the magnetic ion concentration is reduced and the manganese spin lifetime increases, coherent optical control and readout of single manganese spins in gallium arsenide should be possible.
Myers, RC; Mikkelsen, MH; Tang, JM; Gossard, AC; Flatté, ME; Awschalom, DD
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