Coherent electron displacement for quantum information processing using attosecond single cycle pulses
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2020, 10, 21869. 10.1038/s41598-020-79004-8
Coherent electron displacement is a conventional strategy for processing quantum information, as it enables to interconnect distinct sites in a network of atoms. The efficiency of the processing relies on the precise control of the mechanism, which has yet to be established. Here, we theoretically demonstrate a new route to drive the electron displacement on a timescale faster than that of the dynamical distortion of the electron wavepacket by utilizing attosecond single-cycle pulses. The characteristic feature of these pulses relies on a vast momentum transfer to an electron, leading to its displacement following a unidirectional path. The scenario is illustrated by revealing the spatiotemporal nature of the displaced wavepacket encoding a quantum superposition state. We map out the associated phase information and retrieve it over long distances from the origin. Moreover, we show that a sequence of such pulses applied to a chain of ions enables attosecond control of the directionality of the coherent motion of the electron wavepacket back and forth between the neighbouring sites. An extension to a two-electron spin state demonstrates the versatility of the use of these pulses. Our findings establish a promising route for advanced control of quantum states using attosecond single-cycle pulses, which pave the way towards ultrafast processing of quantum information as well as imaging.