Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > On the way to a quantum computer

Andreas Wallraff and his postdoc Stefan Filipp in front of the equipment, with which they want to link electronic quantum mechanical systems with atomic quantum mechanical systems. (Image: P. Rüegg/ETH Zürich)
Andreas Wallraff and his postdoc Stefan Filipp in front of the equipment, with which they want to link electronic quantum mechanical systems with atomic quantum mechanical systems. (Image: P. Rüegg/ETH Zürich)

Abstract:
The hybrid of microelectronic circuits and atoms which combines the best quantum mechanical characteristics of both systems, may help to realize a breakthrough in quantum computing. Not only Andreas Wallraff believes this, but also the European Research Council, which has been supporting his project for five years with almost two million Euros.

On the way to a quantum computer

Zurich | Posted on March 8th, 2010

The thirty eight year-old Andreas Wallraff, Professor for Solid State Physics at ETH Zurich, together with his research group is investigating how atoms can communicate in a controlled manner with an electronic circuit. A 1.9 million Euro research grant from the "ERC Independent Researcher Starting Grants" (see ETH Life from 5.08.2009) is allowing him and his team to extend their area of research. So far Wallraff, who moved from Yale University to ETH Zurich in 2006, has primarily been researching quantum mechanical effects in electronic microcircuits. For example, they send photons from one part of the chip to another and observe how they interact with each other.

Goldplated interior

Now the scientists want to connect their electronic quantum mechanical systems to atomic quantum mechanical systems. In order to do so, a new lab is being built in the basement of the laboratory for solid state physics with specially developed equipment. The interior of the equipment, which is gold-plated in places, almost looks like a work of art. With it the quantum mechanical characteristics and effects of atoms and microelectronic circuits are intended to be brought into an optimal interaction. This method is one of several approaches for developing the hardware of a quantum computer, on which multiple logical operations can be carried out simultaneously on so-called quantum bits or qubits. In contrast to a classical computer, which only works with states 0 and 1 and where the computing operations are run in sequence on the bit, in a quantum computer the state of the qubits can be in superposition and accelerate complex computing operations.

The goal of the scientists on Wallraff's team is primarily to find out how information is written onto a quantum bit, how it can be read out again and how information is transferred. The initial aim is to develop basic components, on which quantum information can be stored for as long as possible and on the other hand it is possible to move between the components quickly and easily.

A versatile connection

Their chip with microelectronic circuits works with the quantum mechanical characteristics of photons instead of transistors. In spite of the high clock speed of the circuit, the time available for processing quantum information with this type of qubit is very short, as the information stored is currently lost within just a few micro seconds, explains Wallraff. Although the time for atomic qubits at up to one second is much longer, the clock frequency currently achievable is a thousand times slower. By connecting both systems, researchers now wish to combine the advantages of the electronic and atomic systems: This combination is the cornerstone of the quantum computer of the Wallraff group.

In Frédéric Merkt, Professor for Physical Chemistry at ETH Zurich, Wallraff has found the ideal partner for the new area of research he is creating. One of his research areas is concerned with Rydberg atoms. They are ideally suited for the atomic processing of quantum information, as they have a diameter which is some 1,000 to 10,000 times larger than a normal atom. As a result they are well suited for interacting with the photons of the electronic circuit.

Letting photons and atoms communicate

Combining both systems - which by themselves are extremely complex - is a real challenge. For example, the chip has to be produced from superconducting material, so that the information stored on it is retained for as long as possible. In addition thermal photons that are present at room temperature also have to be eliminated. Therefore, the chip must be cooled almost to absolute zero, just a few hundred thousandths of a degree above minus 273 degrees Celsius, which is realized using a specially developed cooling system.

Individual photons are created on the microchip. An electromagnetic resonator circuit prevents them from flying off at the speed of light, before they interact with Rydberg atoms, which are guided over the chip. The Rydberg atom is intended to act as a qubit and be switched from state 0 to 1 and vice versa by the photon. The researchers are really excited about the results of this arrangement regarding how and whether the atom and photon will interact with each other. In any case, the aim is that the atoms communicate with the electrical circuit. "Only once we know how it works, can we begin to transfer information between the two qubit systems", says Wallraff.

Extensive knowledge

Realizing a universally working quantum computer still seems a long way off. Wallraff, however, is optimistic and is expecting rapid progress in the development of such a computer. He is, however, certain that his project will not only advance the development of quantum processors, but that it will also make important contributions to the fundamental understanding of the interaction between atoms and solids.

####

About ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is a science and technology university with an outstanding research record.

ETH Zurich is the study, research and work place of 20,000 people from 80 nations. About 370 professors in 16 departments teach mainly in the engineering sciences and architecture, system-oriented sciences, mathematics and natural sciences areas and carry out research that is highly valued worldwide.

As an internationally oriented institution of higher education and a nationally grounded one this forward-looking task is fulfilled in service to the Swiss nation.

Twenty-one Nobel Laureates are connected with ETH Zurich. Maintaining and developing its top standing in the international competition among top universities is an important task of ETH Zurich.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
ETH Zurich
Main building
Rämistrasse 101
8092 Zurich
Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 632 1111
Fax: +41 44 632 1010

Copyright © ETH Zurich

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

Sirrus's Issued Patent Portfolio Continues To Accelerate July 18th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

NEMS

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

One string to rule them all April 17th, 2018

Leti Scientists Participating in Sessions on Med Tech, Automotive Technologies, MEMS, Si-photonics and Lithography at SEMICON Europa: Teams also Will Demonstrate Technology Advances in Telecom, Data Fusion, Energy, Silicon Photonics and 3D Integration October 18th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Academic/Education

The Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Tsukuba near Tokyo in Japan uses Deben's ARM2 detector to better understand catalytic reaction mechanisms June 27th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

SUNY Poly Professor Eric Lifshin Selected for ‘Fellow of the Microanalysis Society’ Position for Significant Contributions to Microanalysis June 13th, 2018

Grand Opening of UC Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI) to Spotlight JEOL Center for Nanoscale Solutions: Renowned Materials Scientists to Present at the 1st International Symposium on Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ISAMS) April 18th, 2018

Chip Technology

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nanometrics to Announce Second Quarter Financial Results on July 31, 2018 July 12th, 2018

Leti and Soitec Launch a New Substrate Innovation Center to Develop Engineered Substrate Solutions: Industry-inclusive hub promotes early collaboration and learning from substrate to system level July 11th, 2018

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Surpasses $2 Billion in Design Win Revenue on 22FDX® Technology : With 50 client designs and growing, 22FDX proves its value as a cost-effective solution for power-sensitive applications July 9th, 2018

Quantum Computing

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

A refined magnetic sense: Algorithms and hardware developed in the context of quantum computation are shown to be useful for quantum-enhanced sensing of magnetic fields July 2nd, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Surpasses $2 Billion in Design Win Revenue on 22FDX® Technology : With 50 client designs and growing, 22FDX proves its value as a cost-effective solution for power-sensitive applications July 9th, 2018

High-power electronics keep their cool with new heat-conducting crystals July 6th, 2018

Leti Presenting Strategic Vision and Hosting a Workshop at SEMICON West: “From Electrons to Photons” Leti Workshop and CEO Media Briefing Set for Tuesday, July 10 in W Hotel, San Francisco June 12th, 2018

Quantum Interference May Be Key to Smaller Insulators: Breakthrough could jumpstart further miniaturization of transistors June 6th, 2018

Announcements

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

Sirrus's Issued Patent Portfolio Continues To Accelerate July 18th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Quantum nanoscience

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Detecting the birth and death of a phonon June 7th, 2018

Quantum Interference May Be Key to Smaller Insulators: Breakthrough could jumpstart further miniaturization of transistors June 6th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project