Atomic spins on a surface make good quantum bits

Spin-based quantum information processing requires coherent spin manipulation. Yang et al. demonstrate coherent control of surface titanium and iron atom spins on a magnesium oxide surface with a magnetic scanning tunneling microscope tip. Arbitrary sequences of fast electrical pulses delivered to the top induced large electric fields. These fields drove metal-atom movement, which then modulated the tip-atom exchange interaction to create an oscillating effective magnetic field. Advanced spin-control protocols such as Ramsey fringes and Hahn spin echoes revealed quantum dynamics, such as coherent oscillations in a titanium atom dimer assembled on the surface with the tip.