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."

Related Articles


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 March 3, 2015 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 March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) — Hewlett-Packard is boosting its mobile computing business... buying California-based Aruba Networks- a wi-fi network gear maker for $24.67 per share. Leah Duncan reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) — South Korea&apos;s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy S smartphones, featuring a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of undisputed global smartphone leader from Apple Inc. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Giants Unveil Latest Models at Technology Show

Smartphone Giants Unveil Latest Models at Technology Show

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) — Mobile providers have been unveiling their upcoming models at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showing off the latest in smartphone technology. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile World Looks to 5G

Mobile World Looks to 5G

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) — The wireless industry&apos;s annual conference gets underway in Barcelona with 85,000 executives taking part and numerous new smartphones and watches being launched. As Ivor Bennett reports from the show the race for 5G is one of the key themes. Video provided by Reuters
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