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Nuclear spin diffusion in the central spin system of a GaAs/AlGaAs quantum dot.

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Millington-Hotze, Peter  ORCID logo
Manna, Santanu 
Covre da Silva, Saimon F  ORCID logo
Chekhovich, Evgeny A  ORCID logo


The spin diffusion concept provides a classical description of a purely quantum-mechanical evolution in inhomogeneously polarized many-body systems such as nuclear spin lattices. The central spin of a localized electron alters nuclear spin diffusion in a way that is still poorly understood. Here, spin diffusion in a single GaAs/AlGaAs quantum dot is witnessed in the most direct manner from oscillatory spin relaxation dynamics. Electron spin is found to accelerate nuclear spin relaxation, from which we conclude that the long-discussed concept of a Knight-field-gradient diffusion barrier does not apply to GaAs epitaxial quantum dots. Our experiments distinguish between non-diffusion relaxation and spin diffusion, allowing us to conclude that diffusion is accelerated by the central electron spin. Such acceleration is observed up to unexpectedly high magnetic fields - we propose electron spin-flip fluctuations as an explanation. Diffusion-limited nuclear spin lifetimes range between 1 and 10 s, which is sufficiently long for quantum information storage and processing.



5108 Quantum Physics, 51 Physical Sciences, 5104 Condensed Matter Physics

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC