Silicon quantum processor with robust long-distance qubit couplings

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2017-09-06

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00378-x

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 7

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Research Highlight

Flip-flop qubits could turn quantum computing on its head

© ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Quantum computing is a step closer to reality thanks to ‘flip-flop’ qubits.

In quantum computing, qubits – the unit of quantum information — must be placed close enough to each other to communicate, with enough space in between for essential electronics. However, previous qubit designs only allowed a separation of about 15 nanometres, which is about 50 atoms.

A team led by researchers from the University of New South Wales have made a blueprint for qubits that can be separated by up to 500 nanometres. The key is to “encode quantum information in the combined state of the electron and the nucleus” says Guilherme Tosi of the UNSW team in a press release. These flip-flop qubits are created by pulling an electron away from a nucleus, giving the atom widely separated positive and negative poles, and creating an electric field. These long-reaching electric fields would enable the qubits to communicate over hundreds of nanometres.

The new qubits can be built into silicon, widely used for computer chips, and could be fabricated using existing technology, the authors say.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 8, 450 (2017). doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00378-x
Institutions FC WFC
School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications (EE&T), UNSW, Australia 0.64 0.64
Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN), United States of America (USA) 0.29 0.29
Quantum Computing Institute, ORNL, United States of America (USA) 0.07 0.07

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