An UNSW research team, led by Michelle Simmons, has published cutting edge research on the path of quantum computer technology on silicon.
The research demonstrates a new compact sensor technology for reading information stored in individual electron atoms. Such a sensor is essential for scaling up and, ultimately, the commercial potential of quantum computing initiatives.
"To monitor a single qubit, you have to create multiple connections and gates around individual atoms, where there is not much room," says Professor Simmons.
"Plus, you need high quality qubits close to each other so they can talk to each other – which is only possible if you have as little door infrastructure as possible."
The UNSW team, led by Australian professor of the year Simmons, has taken a global lead in quantum silicon computing.
This new research, led by PhD student Prasanna Pakkiam as lead author, has not only reduced the number of gates per qubit by four to two, but also improved the quality of qubit readings.
"By integrating a superconducting circuit connected to the gate, we now have the sensitivity needed to determine the quantum state of the qubit by measuring whether an electron is moving between two neighboring atoms," explains Pakkiam.
"And we showed that we could do it in real time with just one measure – just one shot – without it being necessary to repeat the experience and average the results."
Simmons believes that this research leads us to the point where the sensitivity is good enough to perform any error correction necessary for the realization of an evolving quantum computer.
The Simmons team is working at the UNSW's Australian Center of Excellence for Quantum Computing and Communication Technology (CQC2T), which brings its intellectual property to Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd (SQC), Australia's first quantum computing.
SQC is an impressive alliance of public authorities, industrial investments and academic research. Its goal is to build a 10-quint silicon demo system by 2022.
The document was published today in the scientific journal Physical examination X.