Inexpensive Qubits Could be Engineered From Aluminum Nitride

The possibility of quantum computers is more feasible than ever.

5. 3. 16 by June Javelosa
2013 Stef Simmons with CC BY
Image by 2013 Stef Simmons with CC BY

Qubits

If we had a quantum computer, it would be much easier for scientists to conduct virtual experiments to simulate quantum systems. It would also be much more efficient when searching through massive amounts of data, being able to conclude its search in a significantly smaller amount of time than today’s computers.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a quantum computer.

For that to happen, engineers need to fully understand how they can control quantum bits or qubits. Thus far, these can only be created by exploiting the structural atomic defects in diamond. This makes them very expensive to manufacture.

However, researchers from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory now believe that they might be able to engineer the same defect using a less expensive material…aluminum.

Advertisement

Aluminum Nitride

Aluminum nitride has been identified as a possible candidate for the production of qubits. Using the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC) Edison supercomputer, the researcher’s were were able to discover that applying strain to aluminum nitride created similar structural defects that they could potentially harness as qubits; the same way it is created when a nitrogen atom settles in a diamond’s carbon lattice.

And if further experiments prove that the ideas withstand scientific scrutiny, it could allow us to use qubits in semiconductors, which are already reaching their physical limits.

Ultimately, the team behind the work thinks that their research will pass all tests with flying colors, and that cheap qubits will be a reality in the next five to ten years.

The team’s research was published in Nature, and they will be following it up with efforts to test these theoretical predictions in a lab setting.

Advertisement


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.