A frequently studied perovskite can superfluoresce at high (yet obtainable) temperatures and under long enough exposures, so much that it is a possible candidate for quantum computing applications.
The discovery comes from the North Carolina State University researchers, showing that superfluorescence may be a common trait of the whole class of materials perovskite belongs to.
Superfluorescence is a typical example of quantum phase transition – when individual atoms of a material move through the same phases in tandem, thus working as a synchronized unit.
When atoms of optical materials like perovskite get excited, they can radiate light individually. They can also create energy and fluoresce.
All atoms begin moving through three phases randomly, but under adequate conditions, they can sync in a macroscopic quantum phase transition.
The synchronized unit can interact with external electric fields more potent than a singular atom could, thus producing a super fluorescent burst.
Kenan Gundogdu, a professor of physics from the NC State and corresponding author of the research, said:
“Instances of spontaneous synchronization are universal, occurring in everything from planetary orbits to fireflies synchronizing their signals. But in the case of solid materials, these phase transitions were thought to only happen at extremely low temperatures. This is because the atoms move out of phase too quickly for synchronization to occur unless the timing is slowed by cooling.”
Gundogdu and his colleagues analyzed superfluorescence in the perovskite methylammonium lead iodide, also known as MAPbI3, while looking into its lasting properties.
Perovskites are materials with cristal structures and light-emitting properties that can be used to create lasers, among other exciting applications.
They are remarkably inexpensive, relatively easy to fabricate, and are often used in photovoltaic applications, light sources, and scanners.