Broad-band spectroscopy of a vanadyl porphyrin: a model electronuclear spin qudit†
We explore how to encode more than a qubit in vanadyl porphyrin molecules hosting a S = 1/2 electronic spin coupled to a I = 7/2 nuclear spin. The spin Hamiltonian and its parameters, as well as the spin dynamics, have been determined via a combination of electron paramagnetic resonance, heat capacity, magnetization and on-chip magnetic spectroscopy experiments performed on single crystals. We find low temperature spin coherence times of micro-seconds and spin relaxation times longer than a second. For sufficiently strong magnetic fields (B > 0.1 T, corresponding to resonance frequencies of 9–10 GHz) these properties make vanadyl porphyrin molecules suitable qubit realizations. The presence of multiple equispaced nuclear spin levels then merely provides 8 alternatives to define the ‘1’ and ‘0’ basis states. For lower magnetic fields (B < 0.1 T), and lower frequencies (<2 GHz), we find spectroscopic signatures of a sizeable electronuclear entanglement. This effect generates a larger set of allowed transitions between different electronuclear spin states and removes their degeneracies. Under these conditions, we show that each molecule fulfills the conditions to act as a universal 4-qubit processor or, equivalently, as a d = 16 qudit. These findings widen the catalogue of chemically designed systems able to implement non-trivial quantum functionalities, such as quantum simulations and, especially, quantum error correction at the molecular level.