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  1. Abstract

    Despite the recognition of two-dimensional (2D) systems as emerging and scalable host materials of single-photon emitters or spin qubits, the uncontrolled, and undetermined chemical nature of these quantum defects has been a roadblock to further development. Leveraging the design of extrinsic defects can circumvent these persistent issues and provide an ultimate solution. Here, we established a complete theoretical framework to accurately and systematically design quantum defects in wide-bandgap 2D systems. With this approach, essential static and dynamical properties are equally considered for spin qubit discovery. In particular, many-body interactions such as defect–exciton couplings are vital for describing excited state properties of defects in ultrathin 2D systems. Meanwhile, nonradiative processes such as phonon-assisted decay and intersystem crossing rates require careful evaluation, which competes together with radiative processes. From a thorough screening of defects based on first-principles calculations, we identify promising single-photon emitters such as SiVVand spin qubits such as TiVVand MoVVin hexagonal boron nitride. This work provided a complete first-principles theoretical framework for defect design in 2D materials.

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  2. Abstract

    Designing new quantum materials with long-lived electron spin states urgently requires a general theoretical formalism and computational technique to reliably predict intrinsic spin relaxation times. We present a new, accurate and universal first-principles methodology based on Lindbladian dynamics of density matrices to calculate spin-phonon relaxation time of solids with arbitrary spin mixing and crystal symmetry. This method describes contributions of Elliott-Yafet and D’yakonov-Perel’ mechanisms to spin relaxation for systems with and without inversion symmetry on an equal footing. We show that intrinsic spin and momentum relaxation times both decrease with increasing temperature; however, for the D’yakonov-Perel’ mechanism, spin relaxation time varies inversely with extrinsic scattering time. We predict large anisotropy of spin lifetime in transition metal dichalcogenides. The excellent agreement with experiments for a broad range of materials underscores the predictive capability of our method for properties critical to quantum information science.

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  3. Abstract

    The formation of a “spin polaron” stems from strong spin-charge-lattice interactions in magnetic oxides, which leads to a localization of carriers accompanied by local magnetic polarization and lattice distortion. For example, cupric oxide (CuO), which is a promising photocathode material and shares important similarities with highTcsuperconductors, conducts holes through spin polaron hopping with flipped spins at Cu atoms where a spin polaron has formed. The formation of these spin polarons results in an activated hopping conduction process where the carriers must not only overcome strong electron−phonon coupling but also strong magnetic coupling. Collectively, these effects cause low carrier conduction in CuO and hinder its applications. To overcome this fundamental limitation, we demonstrate from first-principles calculations how doping can improve hopping conduction through simultaneous improvement of hole concentration and hopping mobility in magnetic oxides such as CuO. Specifically, using Li doping as an example, we show that Li has a low ionization energy that improves hole concentration, and lowers the hopping barrier through both the electron−phonon and magnetic couplings' reduction that improves hopping mobility. Finally, this improved conduction predicted by theory is validated through the synthesis of Li-doped CuO electrodes which show enhanced photocurrent compared to pristine CuO electrodes. We conclude that doping with nonmagnetic shallow impurities is an effective strategy to improve hopping conductivities in magnetic oxides.

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  4. null (Ed.)
    Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) plays an important role in dictating the performance of various electrochemical energy technologies. As platinum nanoparticles have served as the catalysts of choice towards ORR, minimizing the cost of the catalysts by diminishing the platinum nanoparticle size has become a critical route to advancing the technological development. Herein, first-principle calculations show that carbon-supported Pt 9 clusters represent the threshold domain size, and the ORR activity can be significantly improved by doping of adjacent cobalt atoms. This is confirmed experimentally, where platinum and cobalt are dispersed in nitrogen-doped carbon nanowires in varied forms, single atoms, few-atom clusters, and nanoparticles, depending on the initial feeds. The sample consisting primarily of Pt 2~7 clusters doped with atomic Co species exhibits the best mass activity among the series, with a current density of 4.16   A   mg Pt − 1 at +0.85 V vs. RHE that is almost 50 times higher than that of commercial Pt/C. 
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