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DE-SC0020089: DNA-Controlled Dye Aggregation ¿ A Path to Create Quantum Entanglement

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: Boise State University, Boise, ID
  • DUNS: 072995848
  • Most Recent Award Date: 08/12/2022
  • Number of Support Periods: 4
  • PM: Fitzsimmons, Timothy
  • Current Budget Period: 08/15/2022 - 08/14/2023
  • Current Project Period: 08/15/2021 - 08/14/2023
  • PI: Knowlton, William
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

This research addresses the use of DNA as a programmable, self- assembling architecture to organize dye molecules for quantum information systems. In particular, it has shown DNA self-assembly to be a viable platform for arranging and controlling the organization of dye aggregates to enable exciton delocalization. Exciton delocalization and its electronic coherence are mediated by several key parameters. The team postulate, and show theoretically, that certain combinations of these parameters give rise to optically-accessible, entangled many-exciton states that can be tuned by tailoring the dye aggregate structure. This project (Phase II) builds on the successful Phase I project. The goal for Phase II is to establish dye aggregates with desirable structure-property relationships that enable realizing entangled states and to explore theoretically complementary approaches for measuring entanglement.  The specific project objectives are centered around approaches to precisely control dye properties and arrangement—thereby enhancing both exciton delocalization and coherence—via targeted modifications of dyes and DNA scaffolds. Specifically, we will: (1) investigate the effects of dye and nucleic acid properties on quantum behavior; (2) measure exciton structure and dynamics via advanced steady-state and ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopies; (3) quantify DNA-templated dye placement precision; (4) develop Frenkel molecular exciton theory and computational methods; and (5) ultimately, (a) define design rules for a pathway to create, measure, and control entanglement and (b) develop the theory to enable the measurement of entanglement. The anticipated outcomes of these objectives include enhanced fundamental knowledge and ultimately design rules that define key dye structure-property relationships as they impact key parameters and various timescales governing quantum entanglement, modest infrastructure development, and continued student and staff resource development at Boise State. The project directly addresses DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences stated significant interest in the “creation and control of coherent phenomena in quantum systems emphasizing an improved understanding of entanglement and enhanced coherence lifetimes.”

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