Concept: Quantum dot
Solar energy is potentially the largest source of renewable energy at our disposal, but significant advances are required to make photovoltaic technologies economically viable and, from a life-cycle perspective, environmentally friendly, and consequently scalable. Cellulose nanomaterials are emerging high-value nanoparticles extracted from plants that are abundant, renewable, and sustainable. Here, we report on the first demonstration of efficient polymer solar cells fabricated on optically transparent cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates. The solar cells fabricated on the CNC substrates display good rectification in the dark and reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7%. In addition, we demonstrate that these solar cells can be easily separated and recycled into their major components using low-energy processes at room temperature, opening the door for a truly recyclable solar cell technology. Efficient and easily recyclable organic solar cells on CNC substrates are expected to be an attractive technology for sustainable, scalable, and environmentally-friendly energy production.
Minimizing the resources required to build logic gates into useful processing circuits is key to realizing quantum computers. Although the salient features of a quantum computer have been shown in proof-of-principle experiments, difficulties in scaling quantum systems have made more complex operations intractable. This is exemplified in the classical Fredkin (controlled-SWAP) gate for which, despite theoretical proposals, no quantum analog has been realized. By adding control to the SWAP unitary, we use photonic qubit logic to demonstrate the first quantum Fredkin gate, which promises many applications in quantum information and measurement. We implement example algorithms and generate the highest-fidelity three-photon Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger states to date. The technique we use allows one to add a control operation to a black-box unitary, something that is impossible in the standard circuit model. Our experiment represents the first use of this technique to control a two-qubit operation and paves the way for larger controlled circuits to be realized efficiently.
Practical quantum computers require a large network of highly coherent qubits, interconnected in a design robust against errors. Donor spins in silicon provide state-of-the-art coherence and quantum gate fidelities, in a platform adapted from industrial semiconductor processing. Here we present a scalable design for a silicon quantum processor that does not require precise donor placement and leaves ample space for the routing of interconnects and readout devices. We introduce the flip-flop qubit, a combination of the electron-nuclear spin states of a phosphorus donor that can be controlled by microwave electric fields. Two-qubit gates exploit a second-order electric dipole-dipole interaction, allowing selective coupling beyond the nearest-neighbor, at separations of hundreds of nanometers, while microwave resonators can extend the entanglement to macroscopic distances. We predict gate fidelities within fault-tolerance thresholds using realistic noise models. This design provides a realizable blueprint for scalable spin-based quantum computers in silicon.Quantum computers will require a large network of coherent qubits, connected in a noise-resilient way. Tosi et al. present a design for a quantum processor based on electron-nuclear spins in silicon, with electrical control and coupling schemes that simplify qubit fabrication and operation.
We report an enhancement in light emission efficiency of Si nanocrystal (NC) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) by employing 5.5 periods of SiCN/SiC superlattices (SLs). SiCN and SiC layers in SiCN/SiC SLs were designed by considering the optical bandgap to induce the uniform electron sheet parallel to the SL planes. The electrical property of Si NC LED with SiCN/SiC SLs was improved. In addition, light output power and wall-plug efficiency of the Si NC LED with SiCN/SiC SLs were also enhanced by 50% and 40%, respectively. This was attributed to both the formation of two-dimensional electron gas, i.e., uniform electron sheet parallel to the SiCN/SiC SL planes due to the conduction band offset between the SiCN layer and SiC layer, and an enhanced electron transport into the Si NCs due to a lower tunneling barrier height. We show here that the use of the SiCN/SiC SL structure can be very useful in realizing a highly efficient Si NC LED.
Organic-inorganic hybrid metal halide perovskites, an emerging class of solution processable photoactive materials, welcome a new member with a one-dimensional structure. Herein we report the synthesis, crystal structure and photophysical properties of one-dimensional organic lead bromide perovskites, C4N2H14PbBr4, in which the edge sharing octahedral lead bromide chains [PbBr4 (2-)]∞ are surrounded by the organic cations C4N2H14 (2+) to form the bulk assembly of core-shell quantum wires. This unique one-dimensional structure enables strong quantum confinement with the formation of self-trapped excited states that give efficient bluish white-light emissions with photoluminescence quantum efficiencies of approximately 20% for the bulk single crystals and 12% for the microscale crystals. This work verifies once again that one-dimensional systems are favourable for exciton self-trapping to produce highly efficient below-gap broadband luminescence, and opens up a new route towards superior light emitters based on bulk quantum materials.
Metal halides perovskites, such as hybrid organic-inorganic CH3NH3PbI3, are newcomer optoelectronic materials that have attracted enormous attention as solution-deposited absorbing layers in solar cells with power conversion efficiencies reaching 20%. Herein we demonstrate a new avenue for halide perovskties by designing perovskite-based quantum dot materials. We have synthesized monodisperse, colloidal nanocubes (4-15 nm edge lengths) of fully inorganic cesium lead halide perovskites (CsPbX3, X=Cl, Br, I or mixed halide systems Cl/Br and Br/I) using inexpensive commercial precursors. Through compositional modulations and quantum size-effects, the bandgap energies and emission spectra are readily tunable over the entire visible spectral region of 410-700 nm. The photoluminescence of CsPbX3 nanocrystals is characterized by narrow emission line-widths of 12-42 nm, wide color gamut covering up to 140% of the NTSC color standard, high quantum yields of up to 90% and radiative lifetimes in the range of 4-29 ns. The compelling combination of enhanced optical properties and chemical robustness makes CsPbX3 nanocrystals appealing for optoelectronic applications, particularly for blue and green spectral regions (410-530 nm), where typical metal chalcogenide-based quantum dots suffer from photodegradation.
In-plane transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) quantum wells have been studied on the basis of first-principles density functional calculations to reveal how to control the electronic structures and the properties. In collection of quantum confinement, strain and intrinsic electric field, TMD quantum wells offer a diverse of exciting new physics. The band gap can be continuously reduced ascribed to the potential drop over the embedded TMD and the strain substantially affects the band gap nature. The true type-II alignment forms due to the coherent lattice and strong interface coupling suggesting the effective separation and collection of excitons. Interestingly, two-dimensional quantum wells of in-plane TMD can enrich the photoluminescence properties of TMD materials. The intrinsic electric polarization enhances the spin-orbital coupling and demonstrates the possibility to achieve topological insulator state and valleytronics in TMD quantum wells. In-plane TMD quantum wells have opened up new possibilities of applications in next-generation devices at nanoscale.
Modern technology unintentionally provides resources that enable the trust of everyday interactions to be undermined. Some authentication schemes address this issue using devices that give a unique output in response to a challenge. These signatures are generated by hard-to-predict physical responses derived from structural characteristics, which lend themselves to two different architectures, known as unique objects (UNOs) and physically unclonable functions (PUFs). The classical design of UNOs and PUFs limits their size and, in some cases, their security. Here we show that quantum confinement lends itself to the provision of unique identities at the nanoscale, by using fluctuations in tunnelling measurements through quantum wells in resonant tunnelling diodes (RTDs). This provides an uncomplicated measurement of identity without conventional resource limitations whilst providing robust security. The confined energy levels are highly sensitive to the specific nanostructure within each RTD, resulting in a distinct tunnelling spectrum for every device, as they contain a unique and unpredictable structure that is presently impossible to clone. This new class of authentication device operates with minimal resources in simple electronic structures above room temperature.
Photonic quantum information requires high-purity, easily accessible, and scalable single-photon sources. Here, we report an electrically driven single-photon source based on colloidal quantum dots. Our solution-processed devices consist of isolated CdSe/CdS core/shell quantum dots sparsely buried in an insulating layer that is sandwiched between electron-transport and hole-transport layers. The devices generate single photons with near-optimal antibunching at room temperature, i.e., with a second-order temporal correlation function at zero delay (g ((2))(0)) being <0.05 for the best devices without any spectral filtering or background correction. The optimal g ((2))(0) from single-dot electroluminescence breaks the lower g ((2))(0) limit of the corresponding single-dot photoluminescence. Such highly suppressed multi-photon-emission probability is attributed to both novel device design and carrier injection/recombination dynamics. The device structure prevents background electroluminescence while offering efficient single-dot electroluminescence. A quantitative model is developed to illustrate the carrier injection/recombination dynamics of single-dot electroluminescence.
Recent advances in quantum error correction codes for fault-tolerant quantum computing and physical realizations of high-fidelity qubits in multiple platforms give promise for the construction of a quantum computer based on millions of interacting qubits. However, the classical-quantum interface remains a nascent field of exploration. Here, we propose an architecture for a silicon-based quantum computer processor based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. We show how a transistor-based control circuit together with charge-storage electrodes can be used to operate a dense and scalable two-dimensional qubit system. The qubits are defined by the spin state of a single electron confined in quantum dots, coupled via exchange interactions, controlled using a microwave cavity, and measured via gate-based dispersive readout. We implement a spin qubit surface code, showing the prospects for universal quantum computation. We discuss the challenges and focus areas that need to be addressed, providing a path for large-scale quantum computing.