Quantum interference measurement of spin interactions in a bio-organic/semiconductor device structure
Heremans, Jean J.
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Quantum interference is used to measure the spin interactions between an InAs surface electron system and the iron center in the biomolecule hemin in nanometer proximity in a bio-organic/semiconductor device structure. The interference quantifies the influence of hemin on the spin decoherence properties of the surface electrons. The decoherence times of the electrons serve to characterize the biomolecule, in an electronic complement to the use of spin decoherence times in magnetic resonance. Hemin, prototypical for the heme group in hemoglobin, is used to demonstrate the method, as a representative biomolecule where the spin state of a metal ion affects biological functions. The electronic determination of spin decoherence properties relies on the quantum correction of antilocalization, a result of quantum interference in the electron system. Spin-flip scattering is found to increase with temperature due to hemin, signifying a spin exchange between the iron center and the electrons, thus implying interactions between a biomolecule and a solid-state system in the hemin/InAs hybrid structure. The results also indicate the feasibility of artificial bioinspired materials using tunable carrier systems to mediate interactions between biological entities.