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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Feb 20;92(7):076401. Epub 2004 Feb 20.

Observation of coherent oscillations in a single electron spin.

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3. Physikalisches Institut, Universit├Ąt Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.


Rabi nutations and Hahn echo modulation of a single electron spin in a single defect center have been observed. The coherent evolution of the spin quantum state is followed via optical detection of the spin state. Coherence times up to several microseconds at room temperature have been measured. Optical excitation of the spin states leads to decoherence. Quantum beats between electron spin transitions in a single spin Hahn echo experiment are observed. A closer analysis reveals that beats also result from the hyperfine coupling of the electron spin to a single 14N nuclear spin. The results are analyzed in terms of a density matrix approach of an electron spin interacting with two oscillating fields.

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