Researchers from the Quantum Materials Laboratory at Microsoft and the University of Copenhagen, in close collaboration, have succeeded in realizing important and promising material for use in a future quantum computer. To this end, researchers must create materials that contain delicate quantum information and protect it from decoherence.
So-called topological states seem to make this promise, but one of the challenges is that a large magnetic field must be applied. With the new material it became possible to realize topological states without the magnetic field. “The result is one of the many new developments needed before a real quantum computer can be realized, but on the way to a better understanding of how quantum systems work and that can be applied to medicine, catalysts or materials, some of the positive side effects will be effects of this study, ”explains Professor Charles Marcus. The scientific paper is now published in Physics of nature
Topological conditions are promising, but there are many challenges along the way
Topological states in condensed matter systems have caused tremendous excitement and activity over the last decade, including the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. There is a natural tolerance to damage to Majorana’s so-called zero regimes, making topological states ideal for quantum computing. But progress in realizing Majorana’s topological zero regimes is hampered by the requirement for large magnetic fields to cause the topological phase, which is worthwhile: the system must operate in the hole of a large magnet and each topological segment must be precisely aligned in the field direction.
The new results report a key signature of topological superconductivity, but now in the absence of an applied magnetic field. A thin layer of europium sulfide (EuS) material appears, whose internal magnetism naturally aligns with the axis of the nanowire and induces an effective magnetic field (more than ten thousand times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field) in the superconductor and semiconductor components. sufficient to induce the topological superconducting phase.
Professor Charles Marcus explains the progress as follows: “The combination of three components in one crystal – semiconductor, superconductor, ferromagnetic insulator – triple hybrid – is new. The great news is that it forms a topological superconductor at low temperature. This gives us a new way to create of components for topological quantum calculations and gives physicists a new physical system to study. “
The new results will soon be applied in the design of the qubit
The next step will be to apply these results to get closer to the realization of the actual working qubit. So far, researchers have worked in physics and are now on the verge of engineering an actual device. This device, qubit, is essentially for the quantum computer what the transistor for the ordinary computer we know today is. This is the unit that performs the calculations, but this is where the comparison ends. The potential for the performance of the quantum computer is so great that today we are not even able to imagine the possibilities.
Quantum research combines two ideas offering an alternative path to topological superconductivity
S. Vaitiekėnas et al, Zero-bias peaks at zero magnetic field in ferromagnetic hybrid nanowires, Physics of nature (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41567-020-1017-3
Provided by the University of Copenhagen
Quote: The collaboration provides promising quantum computing material (2020, September 16), retrieved on September 17, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-09-collaboration-yields-material-quantum.html
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