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UNSW Nature paper, 20 Jan 2022

Embargo: 3am, 20 Jan 2022 AEDT; 4pm 19 Jan UTC

Quantum computing in silicon hits 99 per cent accuracy

UNSW Sydney-led research paves the way for large silicon-based quantum processors for real-world manufacturing and application.

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Australian researchers have proven that near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way to build silicon-based quantum devices compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing technology.

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Building a silicon quantum computer chip atom by atom

An atomic array in silicon paves the way for large scale devices

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A University of Melbourne led team have perfected a technique for embedding single atoms in a silicon wafer one-by-one. Their technology offers the potential to make quantum computers using the same methods that have given us cheap and reliable conventional devices containing billions of transistors.

“We could ‘hear’ the electronic click as each atom dropped into one of 10,000 sites in our prototype device. Our vision is to use this technique to build a very, very large-scale quantum device,” says Professor David Jamieson of The University of Melbourne, lead author of the Advanced Materials paper describing the process.

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Quantum computing becomes more than just spin: 2013 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

Andrea Morello 2Andrea Morello

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 that information was fundamentally secure.

But it all seemed like science fiction. No-one really knew how to build one, despite lots of clever ideas for using exotic materials and light. But 15 years of work at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology and its predecessors have changed everything. The building blocks of a quantum computer have been created and tested in a high tech basement at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). And within a few years Andrea Morello and his colleagues expect to have a small working prototype.

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Single-atom writer a landmark for quantum computing

Posted on behalf of the University of New South Wales

A research team led by Australian engineers has created the first working quantum bit based on a single atom in silicon, opening the way to ultra-powerful quantum computers of the future.

In a landmark paper published today in the journal Nature, the team describes how it was able to both read and write information using the spin, or magnetic orientation, of an electron bound to a single phosphorus atom embedded in a silicon chip.

“For the first time, we have demonstrated the ability to represent and manipulate data on the spin to form a quantum bit, or ‘qubit’,  the basic unit of data for a quantum computer,” says Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak. “This really is the key advance towards realising a silicon quantum computer based on single atoms.”

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