A French-Australian collaboration is setting out to make silicon quantum computing a practical reality.
“I’m excited by our technology because it has the potential to change the world,” says Professor Andrew Dzurak of the University of New South Wales, the quantum computing expert who leads the Australian side of the partnership.
Commercialising the technology or the next generation of lithium batteries is the target for a team of Indonesian and Australian scientists, who are backed by battery manufacturer PT Nipress Tbk.
Lithium batteries allow for a large amount of energy to be packed into a small space. But they’re costly compared to single use ‘disposable’ batteries, and have special requirements for transportation and storage.
The design of a 3D silicon chip architecture clears another hurdle in the international race to build quantum computers.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have designed a chip based on single atom quantum bits, creating a blueprint for building a large-scale silicon quantum computer.
The development of a two-quantum bit (qubit) logic gate in silicon heralds the possibility of moving quantum computers from experimental lab to large-scale manufacture much faster than other global research efforts.
Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak and his team have created a two-qubit gate – a critical component, which allows qubits to talk to each other and will form the basis for a quantum computer chip.
It’s an advance that the UK’s premier physics magazine, Physics World, declared one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2015.
Across the world, the race is on to develop the first quantum computer and an Australia research centre is at the front of the pack.
The Australian Government, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have recently recognised the pole position of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) by investing $46 million towards a targeted goal of realising a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit in silicon within the next five years.
In this feature we explore some of the Centre’s advances in quantum information research.
Michelle Simmons’ work building silicon atomic-scale devices is paving the way towards a quantum computer with the capacity to process information exponentially faster than current computers.
She is also Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, acknowledged to be a world-leader in the field of quantum computing—which uses the spin, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons or atomic nuclei to represent data.
In the past five years, Michelle’s research group and collaborators have made a number of notable advances. They have fabricated the world’s first single-atom transistor in single-crystal silicon, and the world’s narrowest conducting wires, also in silicon, just four atoms wide and one atom tall with the current-carrying capacity of copper.
Physicists at the University of New South Wales are leading the race to build computers exponentially faster than any we currently use, according to an assessment published by the scientific journals group, Nature.
People have speculated about the potential of quantum computers for decades—how they would make child’s play of constructing and testing new drugs, searching through huge amounts of data and ensuring security of information.
This scenario may be coming true in a high-tech basement at the University of New South Wales.
Imagine a power station that’s literally sprayed onto your roof —and could match the colour of your tiles.
Thin film solar cells are thinner, cheaper and more versatile than the traditional silicon solar panels. Spray-on solar is a next step in the evolution of on-site power generation.
“These cells can be made with semiconductor dye materials, so you can match them to any colour or pattern you like—they’ll just convert that part of the solar spectrum into electricity. In the future we could have billboards that act as solar panels,” says Dr Gerry Wilson of CSIRO’s flexible electronics team.
Australian engineers and physicists have developed a ‘single electron reader’, one of the key building blocks needed to make a quantum computer.
Quantum computers will use the spin, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons for their calculations. And, because of the quantum nature of electrons, quantum computers could be exponentially faster at certain tasks than traditional computers.
In order to employ electron spin, a quantum computer needs both a way of changing the spin state (writing information) and of measuring that change (reading information). Together these two form a quantum bit or qubit – the equivalent of the bit in a conventional computer. Continue reading Computing with a single electron→