John Hopkins University has discovered that electron dipole fluctuations occur in quantum matter as well. Long hypothesized, but now confirmed this new feature of quantum matter could be used to build quantum computer parts based on entangled electrons in a fabricated molecular geometry.
JHUs Institute for Quantum Matter found that their proprietary k-(BEDT-TTF)2Hg(SCN)2 Br material, arranged in a triangular lattice composed of identical molecules shared extra electrons with the other two neighboring molecules creating a non-zero electric charge.
k-(BEDT-TTF)2Hg(SCN)2 Br was fabricated 20 years ago and is an organic material that essentially behaves like a metal.
“What we found with this particular quantum material is that, even at super-cold temperatures, electrical dipoles are still present and fluctuate according to the laws of quantum mechanics,” said Natalia Drichko, associate research professor in physics at the Johns Hopkins University.
“Usually, we think of quantum mechanics as a theory of small things, like atoms, but here we observe that the whole crystal is behaving quantum-mechanically,” said Drichko, senior author of the paper.
Electrical dipoles are two electrons whose direction of spin are negatively correlated via quantum mechanics. So that switching one will lead to the other taking on the opposing charge no matter how far they are separated.
The key work was done by grad student Nora Hassan at Natalia Drichkos lab using Raman based spectroscopy. This technique shines light on a small part of the crystalline material using their customized spectrometer increasing magnification by 100 times.