Coherent properties of single rare-earth spin qubits

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P. Siyushev, K. Xia, R. Reuter, M. Jamali, N. Zhao, N. Yang, C. Duan, N. Kukharchyk, A. D. Wieck, R. Kolesov, J. Wrachtrup


Nature Communications 5, (2014)

Rare-earth-doped crystals are excellent hardware for quantum storage of optical information. Additional functionality of these materials is added by their waveguiding properties allowing for on-chip photonic networks. However, detection and coherent properties of rare-earth single-spin qubits have not been demonstrated so far. Here, we present experimental results on high-fidelity optical initialization, effcient coherent manipulation, and optical readout of a single electron spin of Ce$^{3+}$ ion in a YAG crystal. Under dynamic decoupling, spin coherence lifetime reaches $T_2$=2 ms and is almost limited by the measured spin-lattice relaxation time $T_1$=3.8 ms. Strong hyperfine coupling to aluminium nuclear spins suggests that cerium electron spins can be exploited as an interface between photons and long-lived nuclear spin memory. Combined with high brightness of Ce$^{3+}$ emission and a possibility of creating photonic circuits out of the host material, this makes cerium spins an interesting option for integrated quantum photonics.