Department of Physics
University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 82
CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland

email:view address

tel: +41 61 267 37 44

Short CV

2009 - 2013    PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. D. Loss, University of Basel, Switzerland
2007 - 2009 Master in Physics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2004 - 2007 Bachelor in Physics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland


Show all abstracts.

1.  Topological Order and Reflection Positivity
Arthur Jaffe and Fabio L. Pedrocchi.
Europhysics Letters 105, 40002 (2014); arxiv:1310.5370.

The focus of this paper is twofold. First, we observe that Hamiltonians displaying both topological order and reflection positivity have an interesting property: expectations in different ground-state vectors of a given local operator WA have the same sign. Secondly, we illustrate this result with a specific Majorana Hamiltonian, related to the toric code which is widely studied in quantum information theory. We show that expectations of reflection-symmetric loops in ground states of this Hamiltonian are vortex-free or vortex-full.

2.  Vortex Loops and Majorana Fermions
Stefano Chesi, Arthur Jaffe, Daniel Loss, and Fabio L. Pedrocchi.
J. Math. Phys. 54, 112203 (2013); arXiv:1305.6270.

We investigate the role that vortex loops play in characterizing eigenstates of certain systems of half-integer spins with nearest-neighbor interaction on a trivalent lattice. In particular we focus on ground states (and other low-lying states). We test our ideas on a "spin ladder" In certain cases we show how the vortex configuration of the ground state is determined by the relative signs of the coupling constants. Two methods yield exact results: i.) We utilize the equivalence of spin Hamiltonians with quartic interactions of Majorana fermions, and analyze that fermionic Hamiltonian. ii) We use reflection positivity for Majorana fermions to characterize vortices in ground states for reflection-symmetric couplings. Two additional methods suggest potential wider applicability of these results: iii.) Numerical evidence suggests similar behavior for certain systems without reflection symmetry. iv.) A perturbative analysis also suggests similar behavior without the assumption of reflection symmetry.

3.  Long-Range Interaction of Singlet-Triplet Qubits via Ferromagnets
Luka Trifunovic, Fabio L. Pedrocchi, and Daniel Loss.

We propose a mechanism of a long-range coherent interaction between two singlet-triplet qubits dipolarly coupled to a dogbone-shaped ferromagnet. An effective qubit-qubit interaction Hamiltonian is derived and the coupling strength is estimated. Furthermore we derive the effective coupling between two spin-1/2 qubits that are coupled via dipolar interaction to the ferromagnet and that lie at arbitrary positions and deduce the optimal positioning. We consider hybrid systems consisting of spin-1/2 and ST qubits and derive the effective Hamiltonian for this case. We then show that operation times vary between 1MHz and 100MHz and give explicit estimates for GaAs, Silicon, and NV-center based spin qubits. Finally, we explicitly construct the required sequences to implement a CNOT gate. The resulting quantum computing architecture retains all the single qubit gates and measurement aspects of earlier approaches, but allows qubit spacing at distances of order 1$\,\mu$m for two-qubit gates, achievable with current semiconductor technology.

4.  Reflection Positivity for Majorana Fermions
Arthur Jaffe and Fabio L. Pedrocchi.
Annales Henri Poincare; arXiv:1305.1792.

We establish reflection positivity for Gibbs trace states defined by a certain class of Hamiltonians that describe the interaction of Majorana fermions on a lattice. These Hamiltonians may include many-body interactions, as long as the signs of the associated coupling constants satisfy certain restrictions. We show that reflection positivity holds on an even subalgebra of Majorana fermions.

5.  Long-Distance Entanglement of Spin Qubits via Ferromagnet
Luka Trifunovic, Fabio L. Pedrocchi, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. X 3, 041023 (2013); arXiv:1302.4017.

We propose a mechanism of coherent coupling between distant spin qubits interacting dipolarly with a ferromagnet. We derive an effective two-spin interaction Hamiltonian and find a regime where dynamics is coherent. Finally, we present a sequence for the implementation of the entangling CNOT gate and estimate the corresponding operation time to be a few tens of nanoseconds. A particularly promising application of our proposal is to atomistic spin-qubits such as silicon-based qubits and NV-centers in diamond to which existing coupling schemes do not apply.

6.  Dynamic Generation of Topologically Protected Self-Correcting Quantum Memory
Daniel Becker, Tetsufumi Tanamoto, Adrian Hutter, Fabio L. Pedrocchi, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. A 87,042340 (2013); arXiv:1302.3998.

We propose a scheme to dynamically realize a thermally stable quantum memory based on the toric code. The code is generated from qubit systems with typical two-body interactions (Ising, XY, Heisenberg) using periodic, NMR-like, pulse sequences. It allows one to encode the logical qubits without measurements and to protect them dynamically against the time evolution of the physical qubits. Thermal stability is achieved by weakly coupling the qubits to additional cavity modes that mediate long-range attractive interactions between the stabilizer operators of the toric code. We investigate how the fidelity, with which the toric code is realized, depends on the period length T of the pulse sequence and the magnitude of possible pulse errors. We derive an optimal period T_opt that maximizes the fidelity.

7.  Enhanced thermal stability of the toric code through coupling to a bosonic bath
Fabio L. Pedrocchi, Adrian Hutter, James R. Wootton, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. A 88, 062313 (2013); arXiv:1309.0621; arXiv:1209.5289.

We propose and study a model of a quantum memory that features self-correcting properties and a lifetime growing arbitrarily with system size at non-zero temperature. This is achieved by locally coupling a 2D L x L toric code to a 3D bath of bosons hopping on a cubic lattice. When the stabilizer operators of the toric code are coupled to the displacement operator of the bosons, we solve the model exactly via a polaron transformation and show that the energy penalty to create anyons grows linearly with L. When the stabilizer operators of the toric code are coupled to the bosonic density operator, we use perturbation theory to show that the energy penalty for anyons scales with ln(L). For a given error model, these energy penalties lead to a lifetime of the stored quantum information growing respectively exponentially and polynomially with L. Furthermore, we show how to choose an appropriate coupling scheme in order to hinder the hopping of anyons (and not only their creation) with energy barriers that are of the same order as the anyon creation gaps. We argue that a toric code coupled to a 3D Heisenberg ferromagnet realizes our model in its low-energy sector. Finally, we discuss the delicate issue of the stability of topological order in the presence of perturbations. While we do not derive a rigorous proof of topological order, we present heuristic arguments suggesting that topological order remains intact when perturbative operators acting on the toric code spins are coupled to the bosonic environment.

8.  Majorana states in inhomogeneous spin ladders
Fabio L. Pedrocchi, Stefano Chesi, Suhas Gangadharaiah, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. B 86, 205412 (2012); arXiv:1204.3044.

We propose an inhomogeneous open spin ladder, related to the Kitaev honeycomb model, which can be tuned between topological and non-topological phases. In extension of Lieb's theorem, we show numerically that the ground state of the spin ladder is either vortex free or vortex full. We study the robustness of Majorana end states (MES) which emerge at the boundary between sections in different topological phases and show that while the MES in the homogeneous ladder are destroyed by single-body perturbations, in the presence of inhomogeneity at least two-body perturbations are required for destabilizing MES. Furthermore, we prove that x, y, or z inhomogeneous magnetic fields are not able to destroy the topological degeneracy. Finally, we present a trijunction setup where MES can be braided. A network of such spin ladders provides thus a promising platform for realization and manipulation of Majorana end states.

9.  Absence of spontaneous magnetic order of lattice spins coupled to itinerant interacting electrons in one and two dimensions
Daniel Loss, Fabio L. Pedrocchi, and Anthony J. Leggett.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 107201 (2011); arXiv:1107.1223.

We extend the Mermin-Wagner theorem to a system of lattice spins which are spin-coupled to itinerant and interacting charge carriers. We use the Bogoliubov inequality to rigorously prove that neither (anti-) ferromagnetic nor helical long-range order is possible in one and two dimensions at any finite temperature. Our proof applies to a wide class of models including any form of electron-electron and single-electron interactions that are independent of spin. In the presence of Rashba or Dresselhaus spin-orbit interactions (SOI) magnetic order is allowed and intimately connected to equilibrium spin currents. However, in the special case when Rashba and Dresselhaus SOIs are tuned to be equal, magnetic order is excluded again. This opens up a new possibility to control magnetism in magnetic semiconductors electrically.

10.  Physical solutions of the Kitaev honeycomb model
Fabio L. Pedrocchi, Stefano Chesi, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. B 84, 165414 (2011); arXiv:1105.4573.

We investigate the exact solution of the honeycomb model proposed by Kitaev and derive an explicit formula for the projector onto the physical subspace. The physical states are simply characterized by the parity of the total occupation of the fermionic eigenmodes. We consider a general lattice on a torus and show that the physical fermion parity depends in a nontrivial way on the vortex configuration and the choice of boundary conditions. In the vortex-free case with a constant gauge field we are able to obtain an analytical expression of the parity. For a general configuration of the gauge field the parity can be easily evaluated numerically, which allows the exact diagonalization of large spin models. We consider physically relevant quantities, as in particular the vortex energies, and show that their true value and associated states can be substantially different from the one calculated in the unprojected space, even in the thermodynamic limit.

11.  Quantum memory coupled to cavity modes
Fabio L. Pedrocchi, Stefano Chesi, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. B 83, 115415 (2011); arXiv:1011.3762.

Inspired by spin-electric couplings in molecular magnets, we introduce in the Kitaev honeycomb model a linear modification of the Ising interactions due to the presence of quantized cavity fields. This allows to control the properties of the low-energy toric code Hamiltonian, which can serve as a quantum memory, by tuning the physical parameters of the cavity modes, like frequencies, photon occupations, and coupling strengths. We study the properties of the model perturbatively by making use of the Schrieffer-Wolff transformation and show that, depending on the specific setup, the cavity modes can be useful in several ways. They allow to detect the presence of anyons through frequency shifts and to prolong the lifetime of the memory by enhancing the anyon excitation energy or mediating long-range anyon-anyon interactions with tunable sign. We consider both resonant and largely detuned cavity modes.