Publications by Andrea De Luca

Dynamic Nuclear Polarization and the Paradox of Quantum Thermalization.

Physical review letters 115 (2015) 080401-

A De Luca, A Rosso

Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is to date the most effective technique to increase the nuclear polarization opening disruptive perspectives for medical applications. In a DNP setting, the interacting spin system is quasi-isolated and brought out of equilibrium by microwave irradiation. Here we show that the resulting stationary state strongly depends on the ergodicity properties of the spin many-body eigenstates. In particular, the dipolar interactions compete with the disorder induced by local magnetic fields resulting in two distinct dynamical phases: while for weak interaction, only a small enhancement of polarization is observed, for strong interactions the spins collectively equilibrate to an extremely low effective temperature that boosts DNP efficiency. We argue that these two phases are intimately related to the problem of thermalization in closed quantum systems where a many-body localization transition can occur varying the strength of the interactions.

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