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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Feb 22;100(7):073001. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Coherence of an optically illuminated single nuclear spin qubit.

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Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


We investigate the coherence properties of individual nuclear spin quantum bits in diamond [Dutt, Science 316, 1312 (2007)10.1126/science.1139831] when a proximal electronic spin associated with a nitrogen-vacancy (N-V) center is being interrogated by optical radiation. The resulting nuclear spin dynamics are governed by time-dependent hyperfine interaction associated with rapid electronic transitions, which can be described by a spin-fluctuator model. We show that due to a process analogous to motional averaging in nuclear magnetic resonance, the nuclear spin coherence can be preserved after a large number of optical excitation cycles. Our theoretical analysis is in good agreement with experimental results. It indicates a novel approach that could potentially isolate the nuclear spin system completely from the electronic environment.

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