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Optical Quantum Control of Magnetic Molecules (OptoQMol)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A revolution is underway, as molecular magnets are establishing a fundamental link between spintronics, molecular electronics and quantum computation. On the other hand, we know almost nothing on how a magnetic molecule is affected by electrons flowing through it or by the excitation of a molecular group. OptoQMol will investigate these uncharted waters by developing innovative, ultra-clean methods that will provide information inaccessible to established procedures. This will allow an unprecedented study of the interplay of electronic and spin degrees of freedom in magnetic molecules and of its possible use for quantum logic.OptoQMol is a strongly multidisciplinary project, and makes use of an innovative mix of chemical and physical methods to overcome present experimental limitations, both in terms of time resolution and cleanliness. Instead of placing a magnetic molecule between bulk electrodes, we will directly grow photoactive groups on the molecule, so that electrons will flow through or close to the spin centers after a light pulse. This affords an ultra-clean system that can be studied in bulk, with a perfectly defined geometry of the magnetic and electronic elements. We will then combine optical and electron paramagnetic resonance techniques with ns time resolution, so as to observe the effect of electron flow on the spins in real time and measure the spin quantum coherence. Eventually we will use these innovative methods to control the interactions among spins and perform quantum logic operations.The success of OptoQMol will answer two fundamental questions: How do molecular spins interact with flowing electrons? How can we use electronic excitations to perform quantum logic operations between multiple electron spins? The results will open a totally new area of experimental and theoretical investigation. Moreover they will redefine the limits and possibilities of molecular spintronics and allow quantum logic operations among multiple electron spins.
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