Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single electron reader opens path for quantum computing

Date:
September 29, 2010
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
A team led by engineers and physicists in Australia has developed one of the key building blocks needed to make a quantum computer using silicon: a "single electron reader."

Artist's impression of a phosphorus atom (red sphere surrounded by a blue electron cloud, with spin) coupled to a silicon single-electron transistor, to achieve single-shot readout of the phosphorus electron spin.
Credit: William Algar-Chuklin, College of Fine Arts, The University of New South Wales

A team led by engineers and physicists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, have developed one of the key building blocks needed to make a quantum computer using silicon: a "single electron reader."

Their work was published in the journal Nature.

Quantum computers promise exponential increases in processing speed over today's computers through their use of the "spin," or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons to represent data in their calculations.

In order to employ electron spin, the quantum computer needs both a way of changing the spin state (write) and of measuring that change (read) to form a qubit -- the equivalent of the bits in a conventional computer.

In creating the single electron reader, a team of engineers and physicists led by Dr Andrea Morello and Professor Andrew Dzurak, of the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at UNSW, has for the first time made possible the measurement of the spin of one electron in silicon in a single shot experiment. The team also includes researchers from the University of Melbourne and Aalto University in Finland.

"Our device detects the spin state of a single electron in a single phosphorus atom implanted in a block of silicon. The spin state of the electron controls the flow of electrons in a nearby circuit," said Dr Morello, the lead author of the paper, Single-shot readout of an electron spin in silicon.

"Until this experiment, no-one had actually measured the spin of a single electron in silicon in a single-shot experiment."

By using silicon -- the foundation material of conventional computers -- rather than light or the esoteric materials and approaches being pursued by other researchers, the device opens the way to constructing a simpler quantum computer, scalable and amenable to mass-production.

The team has built on a body of research that has put Australia at forefront of the race to construct a working quantum computer. In 1998 Bruce Kane, then at UNSW, outlined in Nature the concept for a silicon-based quantum computer, in which the qubits are defined by single phosphorus atoms in an otherwise ultra-pure silicon chip. The new device brings his vision closer.

"We expect quantum computers will be able to perform certain tasks much faster than normal computers, such as searching databases, modelling complex molecules or developing new drugs," says co-author Prof Andrew Dzurak. "They could also crack most modern forms of encryption."

"After a decade of work trying to build this type of single atom qubit device, this is a very special moment."

Now the team has created a single electron reader, they are working to quickly complete a single electron writer and combine the two. Then they will combine pairs of these devices to create a 2-bit logic gate -- the basic processing unit of a quantum computer.

The research team is part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology, which is headquartered at UNSW. The team is led by Professor Dzurak and Dr Morello, with Mr Jarryd Pla and Dr Floris Zwanenburg as key supporting experimentalists. The paper's co-authors include Prof David Jamieson from the University of Melbourne; Dr Bob Clark, Australia's Chief Defence Scientist, and 10 other researchers from UNSW, The University of Melbourne, and Finland's Aalto University.

The research was funded by: the Australian, US, and NSW governments; UNSW; and the University of Melbourne.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrea Morello, Jarryd J. Pla, Floris A. Zwanenburg, Kok W. Chan, Kuan Y. Tan, Hans Huebl, Mikko Mφttφnen, Christopher D. Nugroho, Changyi Yang, Jessica A. van Donkelaar, Andrew D. C. Alves, David N. Jamieson, Christopher C. Escott, Lloyd C. L. Hollenberg, Robert G. Clark, Andrew S. Dzurak. Single-shot readout of an electron spin in silicon. Nature, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nature09392

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Single electron reader opens path for quantum computing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105353.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2010, September 29). Single electron reader opens path for quantum computing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105353.htm
University of New South Wales. "Single electron reader opens path for quantum computing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105353.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Mozilla's Matchstick streaming device is entering a crowded market. The company is banking on open-source software to rise above the competition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — At a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced its latest operating system, Windows 10, which combines key features from earlier versions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins