This project on Nuclear magnetic Resonance (NMR) studies of liquid crystals will involve two new thrusts: (1) the use of carbon-13 NMR to measure long range dipolar coupling constants, and (2) the use of liquid crystals for NMR quantum computing. Regarding area (1), the existing pulse sequence being used with newly developed methods in solid-state NMR will be modified to improve performance, and other types of liquid crystals will be synthesized and studied to provide the most stringent experimental criteria for judging the success of theoretical models, especially molecular dynamics simulations. In area (2), the premise of NMR quantum computing requires that pseudopure quantum states, for which the populations of all energy levels but one are equal, be used instead of pure quantum states. To prepare these pseudospure states for systems with three or more quantum bits, new approaches will be developed to overcome the existing methods for elaborate pulse sequences with many steps that make these experiment very difficult. Multifrequence radiation will be used to prepare the pseudopure states via population transfer to greatly reduce the number of steps needed. Another method to be explored is the use of pairs of pseudopure states and their extension to study liquid crystal systems with 4 to 7 qubits. The main emphasis will be the development of NMR, methodology and the search for proper spin systems rather than devising algorithms to solve problems requiring complicated quantum computation. %%% This liquid crystal research project is very multidisciplinary involving a broad scope of training opportunities for students in areas that include synthetic chemistry, quantum physics, and modeling and simulation, as well as applied technologies involving liquid crystals as optical materials for displays and for quantum computing. Because these areas of high priority in industry, these students are highly competitive in the job market.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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David Nelson
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University of Oklahoma
United States
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