Indexed on: 15 Feb '18Published on: 15 Feb '18Published in: Nature
Electron spins in silicon quantum dots are attractive systems for quantum computing owing to their long coherence times and the promise of rapid scaling of the number of dots in a system using semiconductor fabrication techniques. Although nearest-neighbour exchange coupling of two spins has been demonstrated, the interaction of spins via microwave-frequency photons could enable long-distance spin-spin coupling and connections between arbitrary pairs of qubits ('all-to-all' connectivity) in a spin-based quantum processor. Realizing coherent spin-photon coupling is challenging because of the small magnetic-dipole moment of a single spin, which limits magnetic-dipole coupling rates to less than 1 kilohertz. Here we demonstrate strong coupling between a single spin in silicon and a single microwave-frequency photon, with spin-photon coupling rates of more than 10 megahertz. The mechanism that enables the coherent spin-photon interactions is based on spin-charge hybridization in the presence of a magnetic-field gradient. In addition to spin-photon coupling, we demonstrate coherent control and dispersive readout of a single spin. These results open up a direct path to entangling single spins using microwave-frequency photons.