Controlling quantum states in individual molecules with two-dimensional ferroelectrics
Researchers used electricity to control the internal states of molecules. Credit: Jose Lado/Aalto University

One of the biggest challenges in the field is controlling the internal states of quantum systems. While holding the same number of electrons a single molecule can show different quantum states. The states are associated with different electron configurations which can lead to vastly different properties.

Major developments in both fundamental science and technology are possible because of the ability to control the electronic configuration of single molecule. On the other hand, controlling the internal states of the molecule may allow for the development of exotic materials. It could make possible the miniaturization of classical computer memories, with the two configurations making it possible to store a 0 and a 1 in a classical memory unit. Strategies for overcoming the challenge of controlling the internal state of the molecule have not been proposed.

It's possible to apply voltage to internal states.

Researchers from the University of Jyvskyl and the University of Aalto University demonstrated the ability to control the quantum states of individual molecule with an electrical conductor. Their experiment showed how a specific two-dimensional material can be used to control the structure of the molecule.

The mechanism shown by the researchers is based on the ability of a substrates to tune the internal state of the molecule. Researchers can control individual Molecules by applying a voltage to the Substrate. A unique quantum property known as ferroelectricity leads to the strong tunability of Sn Te.

The research team was led by Professor Shawulienu Kezilebieke from the University of Jyvskyl, and involved the groups of Professors Peter, Adam, and Jose.

The results show how we can use two-dimensional materials to control individual Molecules. Two-dimensional ferroelectrics have been used to realize this strategy of quantum control. The strategy to engineer quantum states at the molecule was put forward by these experiments.

Two-dimensional ferroelectrics allowed us to realize quantum states. One strategy for doing it at the deepest level of individual molecule was demonstrated by the first author of the study.

New possibilities in quantum matter are opened up by the quantum control of Molecules via Substrate Effects. The research was published in a journal.

There is more information about Control of Orbital Ordering Using a van der Waals Monolayer ferroelectric. There is a book called "10.1002/adma.

Journal information: Advanced Materials