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Multiplicity of Inertial Self-Similar Conical Shapes in an Electrified Liquid Metal

In the liquid-metal ion sources that anchor key technologies for nanoscience, above a critical electric field strength a droplet of liquid metal sprouts a conical tip that undergoes continuous sharpening and field self-enhancement, culminating in ion emission. Despite decades of research, details of this process remain mysterious. Here the authors focus on the influence of inertial effects on the self-similar process leading to divergent growth. Asymptotic analysis and numerical simulations reveal a multiplicity of tip configurations that may help to explain decades-old observations of tip pulsation, droplet emission, liquid recoil, and collapse.

Chengzhe Zhou and Sandra M. Troian
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 044001 (2021)

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Real-Time Feedback Control of Charge Sensing for Quantum Dot Qubits

Measuring electrical charge with single-electron resolution is essential for implementing spin qubits in semiconductor quantum dots. Applying quantum dot charge sensors in larger-scale quantum computing devices is being held back because these sensors are easily affected by environmental disturbances, and thus require elaborate tune-up. This study uses a feedback control circuit implemented on a field-programmable gate array to maintain sensor performance in the face of capacitive crosstalk and charge noise. The technique enables rapid tune-up of quantum dot devices and reliable single-shot electron or spin measurement, and will advance the development of large-scale spin-qubit devices.

Takashi Nakajima et al.
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, L031003 (2021)

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Field- and Current-Driven Magnetic Domain-Wall Inverter and Diode

In analogy to charge in conventional circuitry, magnetic domain walls provide an alternative medium for encoding digital information. The authors exploit the lateral coupling between out-of-plane and in-plane magnetic regions induced by the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction in thin magnetic films to realize both field- and current-driven magnetic domain-wall inverters. Nonreciprocity in transport is introduced by breaking the symmetry of the inverter’s geometry, thus realizing a domain-wall diode. This innovative component enhances flexibility in the design of domain-wall circuits and extends the operation of current-driven domain-wall devices to the ac-signal regime.

Zhaochu Luo et al.
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 034077 (2021)

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Single-Shot Readout of a Solid-State Spin in a Decoherence-Free Subspace

“Molecules” of coupled quantum dots offer efficient single-photon emission and spin qubits with long coherence times, positioning them as promising platforms for quantum information processing. The authors propose a protocol for reading out a quantum dot molecule’s spin state, by means of of a microwave π-pulse and cycling of isolated optical transitions. Simulations show that the protocol can provide single-shot readout, given a realistic photon collection efficiency of 0.12%. Realizing such efficient spin readout could boost the potential of quantum dots for generating photon entanglement, storing quantum information, and serving as building blocks of quantum networks.

D. Farfurnik, R. M. Pettit, Z. Luo, and E. Waks
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, L031002 (2021)

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Engineering Dynamical Sweet Spots to Protect Qubits from 1/f Noise

Superconducting qubits provide a promising architecture for scalability in quantum information processing, but their coherence times are currently limited by environmental noise, miring such processors in the noisy intermediate-scale regime. Operating at “sweet spots” (turning points in a qubit’s microwave spectrum) can substantially reduce the dephasing due to 1/f flux noise. The authors extend this concept to boost noise mitigation with an external drive, yielding dynamical sweet spots and turning static sweet “spots” into manifolds. This simple, powerful approach adds flexibility to the choice of operating points, and could enhance coherence times by more than an order of magnitude.

Ziwen Huang et al.
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 034065 (2021)

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Broadband Field Localization, Density of States, and Nonlinearity Enhancement in Nonreciprocal and Topological Hotspots

Nonlinear and quantum optics, and electromagnetic applications such as sensing, benefit from large, broadband electric field enhancements, which are usually achieved through localized resonances. That approach, however, involves a stringent compromise between field enhancement, bandwidth, and overall device size. Here the authors study the unusual phenomena arising at a nonreciprocal hotspot, a nonresonant broadband accumulation of energy in an ultrasmall volume at the end of a unidirectional waveguide. These hotspots support larger field enhancements and much broader bandwidths than conventional systems, providing an attractive alternative for enhancing light-matter interaction.

Sander A. Mann, Ahmed Mekawy, and Andrea Alù
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 034064 (2021)


March 16, 2021

A quantum dot can measure ultracold temperatures without the need for direct electrical connections to the outside world.

Synopsis on:
J.M.A. Chawner et al.
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 034044 (2021)

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Absence of Significant Spin-Current Generation in Ti/FeCoB Bilayers with Strong Interfacial Spin-Orbit Coupling

Efficient generation of spin current is fundamental in spintronics. Despite a decade and more of intense research interest, whether the spin-orbit coupling (SOC) effects of magnetic interfaces can effectively generate a spin current remains an open question. Utilizing Ti/Fe-Co-B bilayers with negligible bulk spin Hall effect and strong, tunable interfacial SOC, the authors establish clean experimental evidence that magnetic interfaces do not generate any significant spin current via spin-orbit filtering or Rashba-Edelstein-like) effects.

Lijun Zhu and Robert A. Buhrman
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, L031001 (2021)

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Multidimensional Entanglement Generation with Multicore Optical Fibers

Quantum communication will undoubtedly be deployed in telecommunication networks of the future. The current development in classical communication is motivated by the rapidly approaching limit of existing optical fibers, known as the “capacity crunch”. A promising solution is spacedivision multiplexing, in which using the spatial modes supported in modern optical fibers increases their information capacity. The authors exploit related technologies to provide a source of entangled photons compatible with this latest trend in classical communication, which may serve as a standard for the next generation of entanglement-based quantum communication systems.

E.S. Gómez et al.
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 034024 (2021)

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Quantitative Diffractometric Biosensing

Label-free optical biosensors are an invaluable tool for drug discovery. Refractometric biosensors (the current gold standard) are sensitive and quantitative, yet due to their integrative nature are also extremely cross-sensitive to temperature and nonspecific binding. Diffractometric biosensors, however, can reject these environmental noise sources via spatial lock-in of the binding signal, while remaining just as sensitive. Quantification of the biomolecular mass bound to a diffractometric sensor has remained elusive for most optical arrangements, but this study closes the gap by providing a unified theoretical framework for all two-dimensional diffractometric biosensors.

Yves Blickenstorfer et al.
Phys. Rev. Applied 15, 034023 (2021)


Editorial: Promoting Inclusive and Respectful Communications

November 18, 2020

APS Editor in Chief, Michael Thoennessen, discusses a new opportunity for communicating authors to include their pronouns together with their contact email in order to promote a more respectful, inclusive, and equitable environment.

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Collection on Two-Dimensional Materials and Devices

Physical Review Applied and Physical Review Materials are pleased to present the Collection on Two-Dimensional Materials and Devices, highlighting one of the most interesting fields in Applied Physics and Materials Research. Papers belonging to this collection will be published throughout 2020. The invited articles, and an editorial by the Guest Editor, David Tománek, are linked in the Collection.


Collection on Two-dimensional Materials and Devices

March 13, 2020

Guest Editor David Tománek introduces a collection of papers in Physical Review Applied and Physical Review Materials on two-dimensional materials and devices, in a snapshot of the leading edge of this hot field.


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Vol. 15, Iss. 4 — March 2021

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APS Announces Outstanding Referees for 2021
February 24, 2021

APS has selected 151 Outstanding Referees for 2021 who have demonstrated exceptional work in the assessment of manuscripts published in the Physical Review journals. A full list of the Outstanding Referees is available online.

Rapid Communications papers will now be Letters
November 23, 2020

Starting January 1, 2021, the Rapid Communications article type will be renamed to Letters. With this change, all eight Physical Review journals that had previously classified articles of the type “Rapid Communications” will adopt the practice of Physical Review Applied and now publish such articles as Letters. Learn more

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