Georgia Tech Physicists Develop Groundbreaking Quantum Sensor Using Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Physicists at Georgia Tech develop an ultra-sensitive quantum sensor using color centers in hexagonal boron nitride, capable of detecting spin waves. The breakthrough has potential applications in navigation, medical imaging, and quantum communication.

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Georgia Tech Physicists Develop Groundbreaking Quantum Sensor Using Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Georgia Tech Physicists Develop Groundbreaking Quantum Sensor Using Hexagonal Boron Nitride

In a significant breakthrough in quantum sensing, a team of physicists at Georgia Tech has developed an ultra-sensitive quantum sensor by leveraging color centers in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). The research, led by Assistant Professors Chunhui (Rita) Du and Hailong Wang, was published in the prestigious journal Science Advances under the title "Sensing Spin Wave Excitations by Spin Defects in Few-Layer Thick Hexagonal Boron Nitride."

Why this matters: This new platform in quantum sensing has the potential to transform various industries, from navigation and medical imaging to quantum communication, by enabling more precise and accurate measurements. As quantum technologies continue to advance, this innovation could lead to significant improvements in fields such as healthcare, transportation, and cybersecurity.

The team utilized color centers, which are small defects within crystals, to create a quantum sensor capable of detecting spin waves, a fundamental component of quantum sensing. Hexagonal boron nitride was chosen for this groundbreaking sensor because of its unique properties, including the ability to contain defects that can be manipulated with light, making it an ideal candidate for quantum sensing and computing applications.

The research resulted in a critical breakthrough in sensing spin waves, with Assistant Professor Chunhui (Rita) Du stating, "In this study, we were able to detect spin excitations that were simply unattainable in previous studies." Quantum sensing opens up new possibilities for precise quantum sensing, as Du further highlighted, "Further research could make it possible to sense electromagnetic features at the atomic scale using color centers in thin layers of hBN."

The study was a collaborative effort, bringing together diverse skill sets and resources from within Georgia Tech, including the School of Physics and the research groups of Professors Zhigang Jiang and Hailong Wang. The research received support from several funding agencies, including the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NASA-REVEALS SSERVI, and NASA-CLEVER SSERVI, highlighting the significance and potential impact of this breakthrough. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NASA-REVEALS SSERVI, and NASA-CLEVER SSERVI, highlighting the significance and potential impact of this breakthrough.

Assistant Professor Chunhui (Rita) Du, a leading scientist in the field of quantum sensing, has been recognized for her pioneering work in developing state-of-the-art quantum sensing techniques. She recently received a new grant from the U.S. She recently received a new grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship, acknowledging her expertise and leadership in driving the advancements demonstrated in this pioneering research.

Key Takeaways

  • Physicists at Georgia Tech developed an ultra-sensitive quantum sensor using color centers in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN).
  • The sensor can detect spin waves, enabling more precise measurements in navigation, medical imaging, and quantum communication.
  • Hexagonal boron nitride was chosen for its unique properties, including light-manipulated defects ideal for quantum sensing and computing.
  • The breakthrough has the potential to transform various industries, including healthcare, transportation, and cybersecurity.
  • The innovation could lead to sensing electromagnetic features at the atomic scale using color centers in thin hBN layers.