Abstract:
For an electron spin in coupling with an interacting spin chain via hyperfine-type interaction, we investigate the dynamical evolutions of the pairwise entanglement of the spin chain and a correlation function joined the electron spin with a pair of chain spins in correspondence to the electron spin coherence evolution. Both quantities manifest a periodic and a decaying evolution. The entanglement of the spin bath is significant in distinguishing the zero-coherence status exhibited in periodic and decoherence evolutions of the electron spin. The periodical concurrence evolution of the spin bath characterizes the whole system in a coherence-preserving phase, particularly for the case that the associated periodic coherence evolution is predominated by zero-value in the infinite chain-length limit, which was often regarded as the realization of decoherence.

Abstract:
The reduced dynamics of a single or two qubits coupled to an interacting quantum spin bath modeled by a XXZ spin chain is investigated. By using the method of time-dependent density matrix renormalization group (t-DMRG), we go beyond the uniform coupling central spin model and evaluate nonperturbatively the induced decoherence and entanglement. It is shown that both decoherence and entanglement strongly depend on the phase of the underlying spin bath. We show that in general, spin baths can induce entanglement for an initially disentangled pair of qubits. Furthermore, when the spin bath is in the ferromagnetic phase, because qubits directly couple to the order parameter, the reduced dynamics shows oscillatory type behavior. On the other hand, only for paramagnetic and antiferromagnetic phases, initially entangled states suffer from the entanglement sudden death. By calculating concurrence, the finite disentanglement time is mapped out for all phases in the phase diagram of the spin bath.

Abstract:
The monogamous nature of entanglement has been illustrated by the derivation of entanglement sharing inequalities - bounds on the amount of entanglement that can be shared amongst the various parts of a multipartite system. Motivated by recent studies of decoherence, we demonstrate an interesting manifestation of this phenomena that arises in system-environment models where there exists interactions between the modes or subsystems of the environment. We investigate this phenomena in the spin-bath environment, constructing an entanglement sharing inequality bounding the entanglement between a central spin and the environment in terms of the pairwise entanglement between individual bath spins. The relation of this result to decoherence will be illustrated using simplified system-bath models of decoherence.

Abstract:
The decoherence of mixed electron-nuclear spin qubits is a topic of great current importance, but understanding is still lacking: while important decoherence mechanisms for spin qubits arise from quantum spin bath environments with slow decay of correlations, the only analytical framework for explaining observed sharp variations of decoherence times with magnetic field is based on the suppression of classical noise. Here we obtain a general expression for decoherence times of the central spin system which exposes significant differences between quantum-bath decoherence and decoherence by classical field noise. We perform measurements of decoherence times of bismuth donors in natural silicon using both electron spin resonance (ESR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) transitions, and in both cases find excellent agreement with our theory across a wide parameter range. The universality of our expression is also tested by quantitative comparisons with previous measurements of decoherence around `optimal working points' or `clock transitions' where decoherence is strongly suppressed. We further validate our results by comparison to cluster expansion simulations.

Abstract:
We study the quantum dynamics of a single qubit coupled to a bath of interacting spins as a model for decoherence in solid state quantum memories. The spin bath is described by the Lipkin-Meshkov-Glick model and the bath spins are subjected to a transverse magnetic field. We investigate the qubit interacting via either an Ising- or an XY-type coupling term to subsets of bath spins of differing size. The large degree of symmetry of the bath allows us to find parameter regimes where the initial qubit state is revived at well defined times after the qubit preparation. These times may become independent of the bath size for large baths and thus enable faithful qubit storage even in the presence of strong coupling to a bath. We analyze a large range of parameters and identify those which are best suited for quantum memories. In general we find that a small number of links between qubit and bath spins leads to less decoherence and that systems with Ising coupling between qubit and bath spins are preferable.

Abstract:
A major problem facing the realisation of scalable solid-state quantum computing is that of overcoming decoherence - the process whereby phase information encoded in a qubit is lost as the qubit interacts with its environment. Due to the vast number of environmental degrees of freedom, it is challenging to accurately calculate decoherence times $T_2$, especially when the qubit and environment are highly correlated. Hybrid or mixed electron-nuclear spin qubits, such as donors in silicon, possess 'optimal working points' (OWPs) which are sweet-spots for reduced decoherence in magnetic fields. Analysis of sharp variations of $T_2$ near OWPs was previously based on insensitivity to classical noise, even though hybrid qubits are situated in highly correlated quantum environments, such as the nuclear spin bath of $^{29}$Si impurities. This presented limited understanding of the decoherence mechanism and gave unreliable predictions for $T_2$. I present quantum many-body calculations of the qubit-bath dynamics, which (i) yield $T_2$ for hybrid qubits in excellent agreement with experiments in multiple regimes, (ii) elucidate the many-body nature of the nuclear spin bath and (iii) expose significant differences between quantum-bath and classical-field decoherence. To achieve these, the cluster correlation expansion was adapted to include electron-nuclear state mixing. In addition, an analysis supported by experiment was carried out to characterise the nuclear spin bath for a bismuth donor as the hybrid qubit, a simple analytical formula for $T_2$ was derived with predictions in agreement with experiment, and the established method of dynamical decoupling was combined with operating near OWPs in order to maximise $T_2$. Finally, the decoherence of a $^{29}$Si spin in proximity to the hybrid qubit was studied, in order to establish the feasibility for its use as a quantum register.

Abstract:
We study decoherence induced on a two-level system coupled to a one-dimensional quantum spin chain. We consider the cases where the dynamics of the chain is determined by the Ising, XY, or Heisenberg exchange Hamiltonian. This model of quantum baths can be of fundamental importance for the understanding of decoherence in open quantum systems, since it can be experimentally engineered by using atoms in optical lattices. As an example, here we show how to implement a pure dephasing model for a qubit system coupled to an interacting spin bath. We provide results that go beyond the case of a central spin coupled uniformly to all the spins of the bath, in particular showing what happens when the bath enters different phases, or becomes critical; we also study the dependence of the coherence loss on the number of bath spins to which the system is coupled and we describe a coupling-independent regime in which decoherence exhibits universal features, irrespective of the system-environment coupling strength. Finally, we establish a relation between decoherence and entanglement inside the bath. For the Ising and the XY models we are able to give an exact expression for the decay of coherences, while for the Heisenberg bath we resort to the numerical time-dependent Density Matrix Renormalization Group.

Abstract:
We analyze the quantum entanglement at the equilibrium in a class of exactly solvable one-dimensional spin models at finite temperatures and identify a region where the quantum fluctuations determine the behavior of the system. We probe the response of the system in this region by studying the spin dynamics after projective measurement of one local spin which leads to the appearance of the ``decoherence wave''. We investigate time-dependent spin correlation functions, the entanglement dynamics, and the fidelity of the quantum information transfer after the measurement.

Abstract:
We systematically investigate the universal spin decoherence dynamics of a localized electron in an arbitrary nuclear spin bath, which can be even far away from equilibrium due to the weak nuclear-lattice interaction. We show that the electron spin relaxation dynamics (as well as spin pure dephasing and Hahn echo decay) can {\it always} have a universal behavior as long as the initial state is composed of a sufficiently large amount of spin eigenstates. For a given system, the pattern of the universal dynamics depends on the complicated initial condition only via a {\it single} parameter, which measures the amount of phase coherence between different spin eigenstates in the initial state. Our results apply even when the number of the involved nuclei is not large, and therefore provide a solid foundation in the comparison of theoretical/numerical results with the experimental measurement. As an example, we also show numerical results for systems of noninteracting spin bath in zero magnetic field regime, and discuss the features of universal decoherent dynamics.

Abstract:
We develop a mathematical description of the decoherence caused by "spin baths", such as nuclear spins or magnetic impurities. In contrast to the usual oscillator bath models of quantum environments, decoherence in the spin bath can occur without any dissipation. Given the almost ubiquitous presence of nuclear spins in nature, our results have important consequences for quantum measurement theory, particularly as the decoherence mechanisms in spin baths work very differently from those in oscillator baths.