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February 10th, 2005
Nanoscientists dream of developing a quantum computer, a device the size of a grain of sand that could be faster and more powerful than today's PCs. They've identified tiny artificial atoms - called "quantum dots" - as the most likely materials to build these machines, but have been puzzled by the dots' unpredictable behavior at the nanoscale.
Now a team of Ohio University physicists thinks it's found the problem - and has proposed a blueprint for building a better quantum dot. The researchers, who published their findings in this week's issue of Physical Review Letters, argue that defects formed during creation of the quantum dots operate as a barrier to scientific experimentation.
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