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  • richardmitnick 5:39 pm on February 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: An innovative way for different types of quantum technology to “talk” to each other using sound, ANL Advanced Photon Source, Argonne Lab, “Spins”—a property of an electron that can be up or down or both, “The object is to couple the sound waves with the spins of electrons in the material”, , , Sound waves let quantum systems ‘talk’ to one another,   

    From University of Chicago: “Sound waves let quantum systems ‘talk’ to one another” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Feb 15, 2019
    Louise Lerner

    1
    An X-ray image of sound waves. Image courtesy of Kevin Satzinger and Samuel Whiteley

    Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have invented an innovative way for different types of quantum technology to “talk” to each other using sound. The study, published Feb. 11 in Nature Physics, is an important step in bringing quantum technology closer to reality.

    Researchers are eyeing quantum systems, which tap the quirky behavior of the smallest particles as the key to a fundamentally new generation of atomic-scale electronics for computation and communication. But a persistent challenge has been transferring information between different types of technology, such as quantum memories and quantum processors.

    “We approached this question by asking: Can we manipulate and connect quantum states of matter with sound waves?” said senior study author David Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor with the Institute for Molecular Engineering and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.

    One way to run a quantum computing operation is to use “spins”—a property of an electron that can be up, down or both. Scientists can use these like zeroes and ones in today’s binary computer programming language. But getting this information elsewhere requires a translator, and scientists thought sound waves could help.

    “The object is to couple the sound waves with the spins of electrons in the material,” said graduate student Samuel Whiteley, the co-first author on the paper. “But the first challenge is to get the spins to pay attention.” So they built a system with curved electrodes to concentrate the sound waves, like using a magnifying lens to focus a point of light.

    The results were promising, but they needed more data. To get a better look at what was happening, they worked with scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne to observe the system in real time. Essentially, they used extremely bright, powerful X-rays from the lab’s giant synchrotron, the Advanced Photon Source, as a microscope to peer at the atoms inside the material as the sound waves moved through it at nearly 7,000 kilometers per second.

    ANL Advanced Photon Source

    “This new method allows us to observe the atomic dynamics and structure in quantum materials at extremely small length scales,” said Awschalom. “This is one of only a few locations worldwide with the instrumentation to directly watch atoms move in a lattice as sound waves passes through them.”

    2
    Argonne nanoscientist Martin Holt took X-ray images of the acoustic waves with the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Advanced Photon Source, both at Argonne. Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.

    One of the many surprising results, the researchers said, was that the quantum effects of sound waves were more complicated than they’d first imagined. To build a comprehensive theory behind what they were observing at the subatomic level, they turned to Prof. Giulia Galli, the Liew Family Professor at the IME and a senior scientist at Argonne. Modeling the system involves marshalling the interactions of every single particle in the system, which grows exponentially, Awschalom said, “but Professor Galli is a world expert in taking this kind of challenging problem and interpreting the underlying physics, which allowed us to further improve the system.”

    It’s normally difficult to send quantum information for more than a few microns, said Whiteley—that’s the width of a single strand of spider silk. This technique could extend control across an entire chip or wafer.

    “The results gave us new ways to control our systems, and opens venues of research and technological applications such as quantum sensing,” said postdoctoral researcher Gary Wolfowicz, the other co-first author of the study.

    The discovery is another from the University of Chicago’s world-leading program in quantum information science and engineering; Awschalom is currently leading a project to build a quantum “teleportation” network between Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to test principles for a potentially unhackable communications system.

    The scientists pointed to the confluence of expertise, resources and facilities at the University of Chicago, Institute for Molecular Engineering and Argonne as key to fully exploring the technology.

    3
    An acoustic chip is used to generate and control sound waves. Photo courtesy of Kevin Satzinger

    “No one group has the ability to explore these complex quantum systems and solve this class of problems; it takes state-of-the-art facilities, theorists and experimentalists working in close collaboration,” Awschalom said. “The strong connection between Argonne and the University of Chicago enables our students to address some of the most challenging questions in this rapidly moving area of science and technology.”

    Other coauthors on the paper are Assoc. Prof. David Schuster, and Prof. Andrew Cleland; Argonne scientists Joseph Heremans and Martin Holt; graduate students Christopher Anderson, Alexandre Bourassa, He Ma and Kevin Satzinger; and postdoctoral researcher Meng Ye.

    The devices were fabricated in the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility at the William Eckhardt Research Center. Materials characterization was performed at the UChicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

    Funding: Air Force Office of Scientific Research, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:20 pm on May 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Argonne Lab, , Molecular engineering,   

    From U Chicago: “Molecular engineers discuss future of computing, healthcare and energy storage” 

    U Chicago bloc

    University of Chicago

    May 9, 2016
    Greg Borzo

    1
    From left: Profs. Melody Swartz, Supratik Guha, David Awschalom and Paul Nealey discuss molecular engineering research being conducted at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Prof. Matthew Tirrell, director of IME and deputy laboratory director for science at Argonne, moderates the panel.

    Imagine unbreakable encryption, room-temperature superconductors, inexpensive molecular sensors, a cure for cancer. These are the challenges molecular engineers are taking on.

    These and other promising technologies were explored during “Future Science: Small Scale, Big Impact,” a presentation by scientists and engineers from the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering. The program, part of the UChicago Discovery Series, showcased research being conducted at the University and Argonne National Laboratory.

    Argonne Lab
    Argonne Lab Campus

    “We’re creating not only the first engineering program at the University of Chicago, but really the first of its kind in the world,” said moderator Matthew Tirrell, director of IME and deputy laboratory director for science at Argonne. “Engineering is about taking science into society and doing useful things for society,” he said.

    Trekkie technologies

    The program featured four speakers. David Awschalom, IME’s deputy director and an expert on spintronics and quantum information engineering, spoke about how some of the technology dreamed up long ago in Star Trek episodes, have actually become reality. The show’s universal translators and personal access data devices are today’s translation apps and tablet computers. Transporters, though, are still a work in progress, but quantum engineering is now enabling teleportation, a related technology operating at the level of single particles. Awschalom’s group is harnessing the way electrons spin to make highly sensitive sensors, build a framework for quantum simulators to design and test pharmaceuticals, develop tamper-proof encryption, bring medical imaging to the molecular level, and other cutting edge devices.

    “We’re building technologies with single atoms, and when you do that, the laws of quantum physics determine their behavior,” said Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering. Quantum probes have extraordinary sensitivity and “may ultimately reveal the exact structure of molecules to determine their structural-functional relationships.

    “Students here are even taking quantum probes and placing them inside living cells,” he added. These probes “act as beacons, looking at the electromagnetic and thermal properties of the cells and sending that information out to the observer.

    “Quantum engineering is becoming a reality, and it will enable the discovery and design of new materials for practical applications,” Awschalom concluded. “What’s exciting is that we don’t know what ’s ahead in the future.”

    Nanoparticle vaccines that kill cancer

    Melody Schwartz, the William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering, noted that while engineers often take basic science and translate it into new technologies, engineers often do the reverse: use technology to understand basic science. For example, she and her collaborators are developing nanoparticle vaccines that can influence immune responses to tumors. These vaccines are designed to have surface molecules that look like a virus or bacteria, and Schwartz is researching whether these vaccines can activate immune system T-cells to kill tumors.

    “Cancer immunotherapy holds enormous promise,” she said. “One way to potentially facilitate cancer immunotherapy is to combine molecular engineering and nanotechnology with information about how the lymphatic system works.”

    Using protein engineering and nanoscale materials, this research is based on the fact the lymphatic system plays a central role in helping the immune system regulate immunity and make decisions about whether particular cells should be tolerated or killed.

    “The lymphatic system is a gold mine of information about tumors … such as the specific details of which proteins are being expressed and secreted,” she said. Targeting a lymph node that holds a metastatic tumor could manipulate the lymphatic system into using the information the system holds about that tumor to stimulate the immune system to fight the cancer. So far, Schwartz’s nanoparticle vaccines have been effective in mice when delivered to a lymph node to which cancer has metastasized. They have not been definitive when delivered to a lymph node on the other side of the body from where the cancer originated. Taken together, these results support the theory that the lymphatic system holds valuable information about a tumor, at least in mice.

    “Perhaps, instead of cutting out the lymph node of a patient (with cancer), we should target it and use (the information it holds),” Schwartz said.

    Cheaper sensors for agriculture and water utilization

    “Cyber physical systems that feature powerful yet inexpensive sensors made of nanoparticles will become ubiquitous,” said Supratik Guha, professor of molecular engineering and director of Argonne’s nanoscience and technology division. These systems will provide vast amounts of real-time data that will be used to measure and control pollution, electrical power consumption, water utilization, agricultural practices and other vital functions.

    “Nanotechnology has been around for about 25 years, but its ‘calling card’ will be what it does for sensors,” Guha said. “Nanoparticles are ideal for sensors because their properties are determined by the environment they’re in. They interact in different ways with light, magnetic fields, pressure” and other factors.

    Once these sensors become more powerful and less expensive, researchers will be able to “screw them in and out of cyber physical systems like light bulbs,” Guha said. “Once that happens, it could change the world.”

    For example, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of fresh water consumption. While working at IBM, Guha participated in an experiment at a vineyard that delivered water based on need rather than randomly. Using satellite data, each section was monitored for greenery—and then watered accordingly. “Over two harvests, yields and water efficiency went up by 10 to 20 percent,” Guha said.

    If agriculture could employ sensors to measure not only soil moisture but also dissolved nitrates, wind speed, plant disease, solar irradiance and other factors, tremendous savings could be realized, he concluded.

    “Magic materials” that can transform semi-conductor manufacturing

    When traditional photo lithographic techniques for manufacturing integrated circuits

    approached a limit to place an ever-increasing number of transistors on a single computer chip, other techniques, such as self-aligned double patterning, filled the gap, said Paul Nealey, the Brady W. Dougan professor of molecular engineering and senior scientist at Argonne.

    Nealey pioneered a relatively new technique called directed self-assembly, which involves making a chemical pattern on a chip and then depositing what he calls “magic materials” that respond to the chemical pattern and assemble themselves into the desired shape and structure.

    “These magic materials are not all that exotic,” Nealey said. They are co-polymers—two kinds of polymer chains connected at one end by a covalent bond. One of the materials is polystyrene (used to make plastic cups) and the other is PMMA (used to make Plexiglas). “These materials form structures at the molecular-length scale, which would be very difficult to achieve with traditional lithography.”

    Directed self-assembly is being commercialized in the context of semi-conductor manufacturing and applied to other areas, he added. For example, it is being used to make ion-conducting materials for membranes in fuel cells and batteries.

    Free and open to the public, the UChicago Discovery Series is designed to share the transformative research being conducted at the University. Attending this program were members of the Maroon Kids, a group organized by IME alumni and friends to promote interest in science and engineering topics among children in grades 6-12.

    One member asked, “How much do your fields interact with each other, and does solving a problem in one help solve a problem in another?”

    “Yes,” Schwartz answered. “New solutions will come from people who are interacting from completely different fields because they’re not stuck in one way of thinking about a solution. They’re coming at a problem from a fresh perspective and have multiple different perspectives.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

     
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