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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
  • PM: Fitzsimmons, Timothy
  • Most Recent Award Date: 07/15/2020
  • Number of Support Periods: 2
  • PI: Knowlton, William
  • Current Budget Period: 08/15/2020 - 08/14/2021
  • Current Project Period: 08/15/2019 - 08/14/2021
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

 Our research team is pioneering the use of DNA as a programmable, self-assembling architecture to organize dye molecules for creating and controlling room temperature exciton quantum entanglement. In particular, we have 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 quantum coherence are mediated by several key parameters. We 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. Our project objectives are centered around approaches to precisely control dye arrangementthereby enhancing both exciton delocalization and coherence lifetimesvia targeted modifications of dyes and DNA scaffolds. Specifically, with the help of our collaborators, 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; and (4) Develop Frenkel molecular exciton theory and computational methods. The outcomes of these objectives will establish foundational knowledge that is essential to our long-term goal of creating and controlling room temperature exciton quantum entanglement. The impact of this DOE EPSCoR grant will strengthen current and foster new collaborations that will advance knowledge and capability at Boise State University and fuel additional innovative research. The investment in infrastructure will not only benefit the team, it will also serve those at Boise State and within Idaho, an EPSCoR state. With respect to the interest of DOE, this grant 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.” This research furthermore aligns with the following Priority Research Opportunity (PRO) “Advanced artificial quantum-coherent systems with unprecedented functionality for quantum information systems” identified by the DOE BES Roundtable - Opportunities for Basic Research for Next-Generation Quantum Systems.

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