Internal gradient distributions: A susceptibility-derived tensor delivering morphologies by magnetic resonance | Scientific Reports
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Noam Shemesh & Lucio Frydman
Scientific Reports 7, 3311 (2017)
Nuclear magnetic resonance is a powerful tool for probing the structures of chemical and biological systems. Combined with field gradients it leads to NMR imaging (MRI), a widespread tool in non-invasive examinations. Sensitivity usually limits MRI’s spatial resolution to tens of micrometers, but other sources of information like those delivered by constrained diffusion processes, enable one extract morphological information down to micron and sub-micron scales. We report here on a new method that also exploits diffusion – isotropic or anisotropic– to sense morphological parameters in the nm-mm range, based on distributions of susceptibility-induced magnetic field gradients. A theoretical framework is developed to define this source of information, leading to the proposition of internal gradient-distribution tensors. Gradient-based spin-echo sequences are designed to measure these new observables. These methods can be used to map orientations even when dealing with unconstrained diffusion, as is here demonstrated with studies of structured systems, including tissues.
Colloquium: Protecting quantum information against environmental noise
Dieter Suter and Gonzalo A. Álvarez
Rev. Mod. Phys. 88, 041001 (2016)
Published 10 October 2016
Quantum-mechanical systems retain their properties so long as the phase of quantum superpositions evolve stably over time. Contact with an environment can disrupt this phase evolution. But for environments that do not exchange energy with the quantum system, strategies exist where the controlled driving of the system can recover or maintain the quantum phase. This Colloquium surveys the host of techniques that are available to “refocus” the phase when disturbed by various forms of classical or quantum environment. While the first such techniques were developed long ago, ideas from quantum information theory have introduced new strategies for accomplishing this goal.
Phys. Rev. Applied: Maximizing Information on the Environment by Dynamically Controlled Qubit Probes
Maximizing Information on the Environment by Dynamically Controlled Qubit Probes
Analia Zwick, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, and Gershon Kurizki
Phys. Rev. Applied 5, 014007 (2016)
Published 25 January 2016
From computers to medicine, miniaturization approaches the atomic scale, where device operation can be dominated by quantum effects that are strongly coupled to the local environment. These influences may be seen not as a nuisance, but rather a nearly untapped source of information about physical or biochemical processes playing out nearby. How can one extract maximum information from such fluctuations with an atomic probe, under typical experimental constraints? The authors use quantum estimation theory to outline a general strategy for dynamical measurement of a broad class of environmental processes.
Nat. Commun.: Local and bulk 13C hyperpolarization in nitrogen-vacancy-centred diamonds at variable fields and orientations
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Christian O. Bretschneider, Ran Fischer, Paz London, Hisao Kanda, Shinobu Onoda, Junichi Isoya, David Gershoni & Lucio Frydman
Polarizing nuclear spins is of fundamental importance in biology, chemistry and physics. Methods for hyperpolarizing 13C nuclei from free electrons in bulk usually demand operation at cryogenic temperatures. Room temperature approaches targeting diamonds with nitrogen-vacancy centres could alleviate this need; however, hitherto proposed strategies lack generality as they demand stringent conditions on the strength and/or alignment of the magnetic field. We report here an approach for achieving efficient electron-13C spin-alignment transfers, compatible with a broad range of magnetic field strengths and field orientations with respect to the diamond crystal. This versatility results from combining coherent microwave- and incoherent laser-induced transitions between selected energy states of the coupled electron–nuclear spin manifold. 13C-detected nuclear magnetic resonance experiments demonstrate that this hyperpolarization can be transferred via first-shell or via distant 13Cs throughout the nuclear bulk ensemble. This method opens new perspectives for applications of diamond nitrogen-vacancy centres in nuclear magnetic resonance, and in quantum information processing.
Nonequilibrium dynamics of many-body systems are important in many scientific fields. Here, we report the experimental observation of a phase transition of the quantum coherent dynamics of a three-dimensional many-spin system with dipolar interactions. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) on a solid-state system of spins at room-temperature, we quench the interaction Hamiltonian to drive the evolution of the system. Depending on the quench strength, we then observe either localized or extended dynamics of the system coherence. We extract the critical exponents for the localized cluster size of correlated spins and diffusion coefficient around the phase transition separating the localized from the delocalized dynamical regime. These results show that NMR techniques are well suited to studying the nonequilibrium dynamics of complex many-body systems.
Gonzalo A. Álvarez (1), Dieter Suter (2), Robin Kaiser (3)
(1) Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100, Rehovot, Israel.
(2) Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, D-44221, Dortmund, Germany.
(3) Institut Non-Linéaire de Nice, CNRS, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, 06560, Valbonne, France.
Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman
Published: July 21, 2015
Objects making up complex porous systems in Nature usually span a range of sizes. These size distributions play fundamental roles in defining the physicochemical, biophysical and physiological properties of a wide variety of systems – ranging from advanced catalytic materials to Central Nervous System diseases. Accurate and noninvasive measurements of size distributions in opaque, three-dimensional objects, have thus remained long-standing and important challenges. Herein we describe how a recently introduced diffusion-based magnetic resonance methodology, Non-Uniform-Oscillating-Gradient-Spin-Echo(NOGSE), can determine such distributions noninvasively. The method relies on its ability to probe confining lengths with a (length)^6 parametric sensitivity, in a constant-time, constant-number-of-gradients fashion; combined, these attributes provide sufficient sensitivity for characterizing the underlying distributions in μm-scaled cellular systems. Theoretical derivations and simulations are presented to verify NOGSE’s ability to faithfully reconstruct size distributions through suitable modeling of their distribution parameters. Experiments in yeast cell suspensions – where the ground truth can be determined from ancillary microscopy – corroborate these trends experimentally. Finally, by appending to the NOGSE protocol an imaging acquisition, novel MRI maps of cellular size distributions were collected from a mouse brain. The ensuing micro-architectural contrasts successfully delineated distinctive hallmark anatomical sub-structures, in both white matter and gray matter tissues, in a non-invasive manner. Such findings highlight NOGSE’s potential for characterizing aberrations in cellular size distributions upon disease, or during normal processes such as development.
Editor: Ichio Aoki, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, JAPAN
Received: November 25, 2014; Accepted: June 24, 2015; Published: July 21, 2015
Copyright: © 2015 Shemesh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Quantum state transfer in disordered spin chains: How much engineering is reasonable? | Quant. Inf. Comm. (2015)
Analia Zwick, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Joachim Stolze, and Omar Osenda
The transmission of quantum states through spin chains is an important element in the im- plementation of quantum information technologies. Speed and fidelity of transfer are the main objectives which have to be achieved by the devices even in the presence of imperfections which are unavoidable in any manufacturing process. To reach these goals, several kinds of spin chains have been suggested, which differ in the degree of fine-tuning, or engineering, of the system parameters. In this work we present a systematic study of two important classes of such chains. In one class only the spin couplings at the ends of the chain have to be adjusted to a value different from the bulk coupling constant, while in the other class every coupling has to have a specific value. We demonstrate that configurations from the two different classes may perform similarly when subjected to the same kind of disorder in spite of the large difference in the engineering effort necessary to prepare the system. We identify the system features responsible for these similarities and we perform a detailed study of the transfer fidelity as a function of chain length and disorder strength, yielding empirical scaling laws for the fidelity which are similar for all kinds of chain and all dis- order models. These results are helpful in identifying the optimal spin chain for a given quantum information transfer task. In particular, they help in judging whether it is worthwhile to engineer all couplings in the chain as compared to adjusting only the boundary couplings.