Revolutionary New Qubit Platform Could Transform Quantum Computing

An illustration of the qubit platform product of a single electron on strong neon. Researchers froze neon gasoline right into a strong at very low temperatures, sprayed electrons from a lightweight bulb onto the strong, and trapped a single electron there to create a qubit. Credit score: Courtesy of Dafei Jin/Argonne Nationwide Laboratory

The digital machine you might be utilizing to view this text is little doubt utilizing the bit, which might both be 0 or 1, as its fundamental unit of knowledge. Nevertheless, scientists around the globe are racing to develop a new kind of computer based mostly on the usage of quantum bits, or qubits, which might concurrently be 0 and 1 and will in the future resolve complicated issues past any classical supercomputers.

A analysis group led by scientists on the U.S. Division of Power’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in shut collaboration with FAMU-FSU School of Engineering Affiliate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Wei Guo, has introduced the creation of a brand new qubit platform that exhibits nice promise to be developed into future quantum computer systems. Their work is revealed within the journal Nature.

“Quantum computers could be a revolutionary tool for performing calculations that are practically impossible for classical computers, but there is still work to do to make them reality,” stated Guo, a paper co-author. “With this research, we think we have a breakthrough that goes a long way toward making qubits that help realize this technology’s potential.”

The group created its qubit by freezing neon gasoline right into a strong at very low temperatures, spraying electrons from a lightweight bulb onto the strong, and trapping a single electron there.

Wei Guo

FAMU-FSU School of Engineering Affiliate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Wei Guo. Credit score: Florida State College

Whereas there are various selections of qubit sorts, the group selected the only one — a single electron. Heating up a easy gentle filament comparable to you would possibly discover in a toddler’s toy can simply shoot out a boundless provide of electrons.

One vital high quality for qubits is their means to stay in a simultaneous 0 or 1 state for a very long time, referred to as its “coherence time.” That point is restricted, and the restrict is set by the best way qubits work together with their surroundings. Defects within the qubit system can considerably scale back the coherence time.

For that purpose, the group selected to lure an electron on an ultrapure strong neon floor in a vacuum. Neon is one in all solely six inert parts, which means it doesn’t react with different parts.

“Because of this inertness, solid neon can serve as the cleanest possible solid in a vacuum to host and protect any qubits from being disrupted,” stated Dafei Jin, an Argonne scientist and the principal investigator of the undertaking.

Through the use of a chip-scale superconducting resonator — like a miniature microwave oven — the group was capable of manipulate the trapped electrons, permitting them to learn and retailer data from the qubit, thus making it helpful to be used in future quantum computer systems.

Earlier analysis used liquid helium because the medium for holding electrons. That materials was straightforward to make freed from defects, however vibrations of the liquid-free floor may simply disturb the electron state and therefore compromise the efficiency of the qubit.

Stable neon affords a cloth with few defects that doesn’t vibrate like liquid helium. After constructing their platform, the group carried out real-time qubit operations utilizing microwave photons on a trapped electron and characterised its quantum properties. These exams demonstrated that strong neon supplied a sturdy surroundings for the electron with very low electrical noise to disturb it. Most significantly, the qubit attained coherence instances within the quantum state aggressive with different state-of-the-art qubits.

The simplicity of the qubit platform must also lend itself to easy, low-cost manufacturing, Jin stated.

The promise of quantum computing lies in the ability of this next-generation technology to calculate certain problems much faster than classical computers. Researchers aim to combine long coherence times with the ability of multiple qubits to link together — known as entanglement. Quantum computers thereby could find the answers to problems that would take a classical computer many years to resolve.

Consider a problem where researchers want to find the lowest energy configuration of a protein made of many amino acids. These amino acids can fold in trillions of ways that no classical computer has the memory to handle. With quantum computing, one can use entangled qubits to create a superposition of all folding configurations — providing the ability to check all possible answers at the same time and solve the problem more efficiently.

“Researchers would just need to do one calculation, instead of trying trillions of possible configurations,” Guo said.

For more on this research, see New Qubit Breakthrough Could Revolutionize Quantum Computing.

Reference: “Single electrons on solid neon as a solid-state qubit platform” by Xianjing Zhou, Gerwin Koolstra, Xufeng Zhang, Ge Yang, Xu Han, Brennan Dizdar, Xinhao Li, Ralu Divan, Wei Guo, Kater W. Murch, David I. Schuster and Dafei Jin, 4 May 2022, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04539-x

The team published its findings in a Nature article titled “Single electrons on solid neon as a solid-state qubit platform.” In addition to Jin, Argonne contributors include first author Xianjing Zhou, Xufeng Zhang, Xu Han, Xinhao Li, and Ralu Divan. Contributors from the University of Chicago were David Schuster and Brennan Dizdar. Other co-authors were Kater Murch of Washington University in St. Louis, Gerwin Koolstra of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Ge Yang of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Funding for the Argonne research primarily came from the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Argonne’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and the Julian Schwinger Foundation for Physics Research. Guo is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

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