Researchers studied Perovskite can superfluoresce at temperatures that help to achieve and at timescales long enough to make it potentially useful in quantum computing applications. The finding from North Carolina State University researchers also indicates that superfluorescence may be a common characteristic for this entire class of materials. The study was published in Nature Photonics and is supported by the National Science Foundation
Superfluorescence is an example of quantum phase transition. When the individual atoms within a material all move through the same phases in tandem, becoming a synchronized unit. When atoms in an optical material such as a Perovskite can individually radiate light, create energy, and fluoresce.Each atom will start moving through these phases randomly, but given the right conditions, they can synchronize in a macroscopic quantum phase transition. That synchronized unit can then interact with external electric fields more strongly than any single atom could, creating a superfluorescent burst.
Gundogdu and his team observed superfluorescence in the Perovskite methylammonium lead iodide, or MAPbI3 while exploring its lasing properties. Perovskite are materials with a crystal structure and light-emitting properties useful in creating lasers, among other applications. They are inexpensive, relatively simple to fabricate, and are used in photovoltaics, light sources and scanners.
Gundogdu says that when trying to figure out the dynamics of MAPbI3 behind lasing properties, researchers noticed that the dynamics they observed couldn’t be described by lasing behaviour. In lasing, one excited particle will emit light, stimulate another one, and so on in a geometric amplification. But with this material we saw synchronization and a quantum phase transition, resulting in superfluorescence. The most striking aspects of the superfluorescence were that it occurred at 78 Kelvin and had a phase lifetime of 10 to 30 picoseconds.The researchers think that this property may be more widespread in Perovskite generally, which could prove useful in quantum applications such as computer processing or storage.