LBNL Office of science Department of Energy

Ion Beam Technology Group

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Accelerator and Fusion Research Division

Recent News: Efficient Polarization of Nuclear Spins With Electrical Currents in Transistors

Spin initialization in transistors

Nuclear spins can achieve very long coherence times, which makes them prime candidates as information carriers in advanced computing, including quantum computing. But what’s needed is an effective method for getting spin started at the onset of a computation. A team from Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and the National High Magnetic Field Lab, including AFRD’s Cheuk Chi Lo, Christopher Weis, Jeff Bokor, and Thomas Schenkel, have demonstrated that nuclear spins of phosphorus atoms can be efficiently initialized by controlling the electrical current in silicon transistors. Controlling currents locally enables nuclear spin control in dense quantum bit arrays.

The paper can be found at

Ion beam technology

picture of plasma

The heart of an R&D 100 winner

Building upon some of AFRD’s deepest science and technology legacies to meet customer needs, the IBT Group develops technologies that might involve ion sources, neutron and gamma-ray generators, applications of plasma technology, and nanofabrication (e.g., for quantum computing). The common theme is the production and use of plasmas and ion beams. Applications of such technology are remarkably wide-ranging: detecting hidden explosives and nuclear materials with neutron and gamma-ray generators, coating surfaces with hard protective films, making nanodevices, and treating certain cancers are among the present or recent examples. Our goal: transformational impact in critical areas of scientific and national needs. The links above take you to detailed information in these areas.

With a project portfolio clustered around core competencies in plasma generators, ion sources, and beam transport, we take creative approaches to niche applications and basic R&D. We are aggressively pursuing new opportunities in quantum information science, homeland security, and energy science and conservation.

IBT is a group within the Fusion Energy Research Program and thence the Heavy Ion Fusion Virtual National Laboratory. To learn more, contact group leader Thomas Schenkel, 510.486.6674.