The alternation between singlet and triplet states of electron pairs in charge-separated states plays an important role in nature. Presumably, even the compass of migratory birds can be explained by the influence of the geomagnetic field on the magnetic interplay between these two spin states. Until now, this quantum process could not be followed directly optically and only be evaluated summarily in the final product. In the current issue of the journal Science, a research collaboration with Professor Ulrich Steiner from the University of Konstanz and researchers from the Universities of Würzburg and Novosibirsk (RUS) presents the pump-push-pulse technique, allowing for the first time to optically determine the time course of the singlet/triplet ratio. This opens up new avenues, for example in the field of organic solar cells, but also for qubits in quantum computers.
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