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Observation of zero-point quantum fluctuations of a single-molecule magnet through the relaxation of its nuclear spin bath

AutorMorello, A.; Millán, Ángel; Jongh, L. J. de
Fecha de publicación2014
EditorAmerican Physical Society
CitaciónPhysical Review Letters 112: 117202 (2014)
ResumenA single-molecule magnet placed in a magnetic field perpendicular to its anisotropy axis can be truncated to an effective two-level system, with easily tunable energy splitting. The quantum coherence of the molecular spin is largely determined by the dynamics of the surrounding nuclear spin bath. Here we report the measurement of the nuclear spin-lattice relaxation rate 1/T1n in a single crystal of the single-molecule magnet Mn12-ac, at T≈30 mK in perpendicular fields B⊥ up to 9 T. The relaxation channel at B≈0 is dominated by incoherent quantum tunneling of the Mn12-ac spin S, aided by the nuclear bath itself. However for B⊥>5 T we observe an increase of 1/T1n by several orders of magnitude up to the highest field, despite the fact that the molecular spin is in its quantum mechanical ground state. This striking observation is a consequence of the zero-point quantum fluctuations of S, which allow it to mediate the transfer of energy from the excited nuclear spin bath to the crystal lattice at much higher rates. Our experiment highlights the importance of quantum fluctuations in the interaction between an >effective two-level system> and its surrounding spin bath. © 2014 American Physical Society.
DescripciónUnder the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC-BY).
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.117202
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.117202
issn: 0031-9007
e-issn: 1079-7114
Aparece en las colecciones: (ICMA) Artículos
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