2011 News

December 2011
QSIT Site Visit

The first site visit of the NCCR Quantum Science and Technology (QSIT) took place at ETH Zürich on December 8th and 9th. Professors and students made presentations on the progress of scientific research in the NCCR to an evaluation committee. From our lab, Ph.D. student Michele Montinaro presented a poster on his work coupling ultrasensitive cantilevers to quantum point contacts. Thank you to the director of the NCCR Prof. Klaus Ensslin, to the co-director Prof. Richard Warburton, and to the chief administrator Ilona Blatter for their hard work organizing the review.

Prof. Beat Meier Visits

On December 1st Prof. Beat Meier of of the Department of Physical Chemistry at ETH Zürich visited our lab along with Ph.D. students Ivan Tomka and Rosmarie Joss. The informal meeting consisted of a lab tour and discussions pertaining to possible collaborations between our two groups.

November 2011
Paper Highlighted in PRB

On November 21st, Physical Review B published our paper, Measurement of statistical nuclear spin polarization in a nanoscale GaAs sample. The publication was selected as an Editors’ Suggestion and appears in the Semiconductors II: surfaces, interfaces, microstructures, and related topics section of the journal. Editors’ Suggestions are described as a small number of papers “that the editors and referees find of particular interest, importance, or clarity”.

Joachim Nagel Visits

On Thursday and Friday November 10th and 11th Joachim Nagel visited our group. Joachim is a Ph.D. student in the solid-state physics group led by Prof. Reinhold Kleiner and Prof. Dieter Kölle at the Universität Tübingen. With his visit, we intend to start planning for an experimental collaboration between our two groups. On our side, the project will be led by Ph.D. student Arne Buchter. Joachim also gave a short talk to our group on his recent work.

First Swiss MRFM Gathering

On Friday November 4th the group participated in the first informal gathering of research groups working on magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) here in Switzerland. The meeting was held at ETH Zürich and organized by Prof. Christian Degen. Prof. Degen, Prof. Poggio, Prof. Beat Meier, most members of Prof. Degen’s and Prof. Poggio’s groups, and the two members of Prof. Beat Meier’s group working on MRFM were in attendance. The proceedings included several talks on the latest developments, lab tours, and dinner. We look forward to collaborating with our colleages and to future events. Special thanks to Prof. Degen for organizing an excellent event.

Statistical Polarization in GaAs

A pre-print of our paper, Measurement of statistical nuclear spin polarization in a nanoscale GaAs sample, is now available on the arXiv. The report describes measurements of statistical polarizations of the quadrupolar nuclear spins contained in a sub-micrometer particle of GaAs. Measurements are carried out on ensembles containing less than 5 x 108 nuclear spins and occupying a volume of around (300 nm)3 with reduced volumes possible in future experiments. We discuss how further reduction of this detection volume will bring the quadrupolar spin ensemble into a regime where random spin fluctuations, rather than Botlzmann polarization, dominate its dynamics. The detection of statistical polarization in GaAs by magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) represents an important first step toward 3D magnetic resonance imaging of III-V materials on the nanometer-scale. The paper will appear in Physical Review B.

October 2011
Prof. Jiangfeng Du Visits

Prof. Jiangfeng Du from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) visited our group in early October. He gave a talk entitiled, “Preserving spin coherence in solids by optimal dynamical coupling” at our Condensed Matter Seminar on October 3rd. The visit was aimed at developing a collaboration between our two groups. Special thanks are due to Dr. Fei Xue for his efforts in organizing the visit.

September 2011
Fundamental Electronics Begins

Prof. Poggio’s course entitled Fundamental Electronics is now underway. Lectures will be on Tuesdays, 10.00-12.00 in Neuer Hörsaal 1. On weeks requiring practical labs, there will be two separate lab sessions: one 10:00-11:00 and the other 13:00-14:00, both on Wednesdays in Seminarzimmer 2.04. On weeks requiring written exercises, there will be a single exercise sessions on Wednesdays, 13:00-14:00 in Seminarzimmer 2.04.

Solid-state NMR Conference in Trogir, Croatia

Prof. Poggio gave an invited talk at the Recent Advances in Broad-band Solid-state NMR of Correlated Electronic Systems conference in Trogir, Croatia. The workshop took place from the 4th to the 9th of September. This year’s meeting is the second edition and emphasized the ways in which NMR can provide insight into the outstanding solid-state physics problems of our day. Many thanks to the organizers for putting together an excellent event.

August 2011
Wai Son Ko from UC Berkeley Visits the Lab

Wai Son “Wilson” Ko from Prof. Connie Chang-Hasnain’s lab at UC Berkeley visted our lab in early August. Wilson and our group members discussed an on-going collaboration between our group and Prof. Chang-Hasnain’s optoelectronics group.

Second Post-Doc Joins the Lab

Dr. Hari Solanki starts work in the lab in early August. Hari has recently finished his Ph.D. thesis titled “Semiconducting nanowire electromechanics,” under the supervision of Dr. Mandar Deshmukh at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India. His position in our lab is funded by the NCCR QSIT.

July 2011
Magnetic Resonance Microsystems Conference

Prof. Poggio is giving an invited talk at the Black Forest Focus on Soft Matter 6: “Magnetic Resoance Microsystems conference near Freiburg, Germany. The workshop takes place from the 26th to the 29th of July and focuses on miniturazation issues of magnetic resonance equipment and experiments.

QOMNS Summer School in Monte Verità

Between July 24th and 28th, a summer school on Quantum Optics of Micro- and Nanomechanical Systems
will be held in Monte Verità above the town of Ascona in southern Switzerland. The school has been organized by Prof. Tobias Kippenberg of the EPFL and co-organized by Prof. Poggio and Prof. Philipp Treutlein of the University of Basel. Dr. Fei Xue and Michele Montinaro will also be in attendance. The conference is sponsored by the EPFL, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Centro Stefano Franscini, and the NCCR QSIT.

Visit and Talk at TU München

Prof. Poggio and Ph.D student Michele Montinaro will be visiting the Walter Schottky Institut at the Technische Universität München between the 12th and 13th of July on the invitation of Prof. Alexander Holleitner. They will discuss ongoing collaborations and Prof. Poggio will give the Schottky Seminar on Tuesday afternoon.

Fourth Student Starts in the Lab

Arne Buchter starts work in the lab in early July.

June 2011
Prof. Roberto Myers Visiting until mid-July

Prof. Roberto Myers from the Ohio State University in Columbus is visiting our lab for a month starting on the 23rd of June. Prof. Myer’s research focuses on the growth of wide band-gap semiconductors (III-Nitrides) by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Prof. Myers and Prof. Poggio were frequent collaborators during their doctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During this visit, we hope to start new and fruitful collaborations between our two labs. We acknowledge the Basel QC2 Center for funding this visit through its excellent visitor program.

April 2011
Paper appears in APL

On April 18th, Applied Physics Letters published our paper, A geometry for optimizing nanoscale magnetic resonance force microscopy. The publication appears in the Nanoscale Science and Design section of the journal and includes a short supplementary section.

Prof. Christian Degen Drops In

Prof. Christian Degen from MIT (soon to move to ETH Zürich) visited our lab on April 8th. Prof. Degen and Prof. Poggio discussed various on-going and future collaborations, including a conference they are organizing along with Prof. Beat Meier on nano-MRI to be held in July 2012 at the Centro Stefano Franscini in Monte Verità, Switzerland.

MRFM Discussions with Ivan Tomka

Ivan Tomka from Prof. Beat Meier’s group at ETH Zürich visited our lab on April 6th. Ivan presented some of his latest MRFM results as part of the continuing collaboration between our two groups.

March 2011
Shawn Mack Visits

Shawn Mack from Prof. David Awschalom’s group at UCSB is visiting our lab. As part of a collaboration with our group, Shawn has been growing high quality two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) samples destined fo experiments aimed at coupling mechanical modes to quantized electronic states. Michele Montinaro leads the experimental efforts for this project in our lab.

Optimizing nano-MRFM

A pre-print of our paper, A geometry for optimizing nanoscale magnetic resonance force icroscopy, is now available on the arXiv. The report demonstrates various key improvements to state-of-the-art magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM). These advances include integrating a “microwire” rf source and nanomagnetic tip into an experimental geometry designed to eliminate magnetic dissipation. In addition, we demonstrate the possibility of making MRFM measurements in various configurations in order to obtain the highest possible resolution in all spatial directions. Finally, we show our ability to produce rotating rf magnetic fields B1 > 12 mT while maintaining a sample temperature under 500 mK. The paper will appear in Applied Physics Letters.

Optics of Solid-State Nanostructures Begins

Prof. Poggio’s course entitled Optics of Solid-State Nanostructures is now underway. Lectures will be on Wednesdays, 14.00-16.00 in Seminarzimmer 3.12.

February 2011
Advanced AFM Techniques Workshop

Dr. Fei Xue and Prof. Poggio attended a workshop on Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy Techniques at the KIT in Karlsruhe. This was the 2nd edition of this international workshop and it was held from February 28th until March 1st. Dr. Xue presented a poster and Prof. Poggio gave a talk on our group’s work.

January 2011
Nanoscience in the Snow 2011

Students Michele Montinaro and Dennis Weber attended Nanoscience in the Snow 2011 in Les Diablerets, Switzerland. The seminar is part of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) here in Basel on Nanoscale Science. Special thanks to Dr. Michel Calame and Audrey Fischer for their work organizing the seminar.

First General Meeting of the NCCR-QSIT

A meeting was held in Arosa, Switzerland for the members of the new National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) on Quantum Science and Technology (QSIT). The ETH Zürich is the leading house of this new NCCR with the University of Basel as the co-leading house. Talks were given by all the principle investigators involved in QSIT in an effort to stimulate discussion and collaboration. Our group is happy to be part of this outstanding new center and looks forward to future collaborations within its structure. We thank the QSIT director Prof. Klaus Ensslin and the co-director here in Basel Prof. Richard Warburton for their efforts. We especially thank the QSIT coordinator, Dr. Ilona Blatter, for all her work in organizing a wonderful meeting. Our contributions included a talk by Prof. Poggio and two posters by Dr. Fei Xue and Phani Peddibhotla.