In the world there are very exotic and unique quasiparticles called Trions, which consist of three charged particles bound by weak energy forces. Such a quasiparticle can be a carrier of more information than a photon or other single elementary particle, which can be used in the field of electronics, quantum communications, and computing. However, trions are very unstable at room temperature, the binding forces in them are so weak that they decay almost instantly after formation. In all experiments in which scientists try to work with trions, cryogenic temperatures are used, but even then, the stability of these quasiparticles leaves much to be desired.
Scientists from the University of Maryland have found a way to synthesize trions and keep them in a trap that stabilizes them at room temperature. This achievement will now allow scientists to focus on studying the properties of these quasiparticles and develop new technologies with their application.
In their studies, scientists used special chemical reactions to create special defects on the surface of single-walled carbon nanotubes. These defects lead to the appearance of an inhomogeneity in the electrical conductivity of the nanotube surface so that the defects work like wells into which charged particles can be trapped in a potential trap inside the nanotube.
After preparing the nanotubes, the scientists illuminated them with laser light and observed a bright luminescent glow at the edges of the defect. This luminescence, which has a strictly defined wavelength, indicates that the electron and quasiparticle, called the exciton, trapped in the defect site, bind and form a trion.
Excitons arise on the surface of a carbon nanotube when a photon of light hits it, exciting one of the electrons, which leaves its atom and becomes a free electron, leaving behind an electron hole. In some cases, this free electron and hole remain in a bound state, forming a quasiparticle – exciton. When the exciton and electron fall into the “well” of the defect, they coalesce and form a trion consisting of two electrons and an electron hole. After this, the trion decays, emits a photon of light, which leads to a bright luminescent glow observed by the scientists.
“This is very similar to the manifestation of elementary particle physics in a chemical laboratory,” the scientists write, “the defect obtained by a chemical method works as a kind of beaker at the level of atoms and individual particles, making it possible to mix these particles and obtain new“ compounds ”from them. “what is most important in this matter is that the energy level of the resulting trions is high enough so that they can have enough time to study them.”
By changing the parameters of chemical reactions, scientists can change the properties of defects on the surface of nanotubes so that it becomes possible to control the charge, electron spins, and other characteristics of trions that form inside the trap. The trions created by the scientists were seven times brighter (high-energy) than the trions ever created before. In addition, these vibrant trions trapped in the air retain stability 100 times longer than regular free trions.
In the future, scientists are going to continue the development of their methods in order to obtain a greater level of control by the synthesis of trions, which will allow them to study their optical properties and the fundamental photo- and physical phenomena associated with them. And in the future, the possibility of creating stable trions will allow us to develop a whole series of completely new technologies in the field of shooting biological objects, chemical analysis, alternative energy, quantum computing, etc.