UNSW researchers demonstrate first 3D atomic scale quantum chip architecture

By on 9 January, 2019

Study authors Dr. Joris Keizer and Professor Michelle Simmons. Image: UNSW.

UNSW scientists achieve a key milestone in the development of quantum computing technology.

Researchers from the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) have demonstrated that they are able to create atomic precision qubits within a 3D device.

Their paper was published this week in Nature Nanotechnology, with the research team led by CQC2T director Michelle Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year.

This work builds upon on a proposed 3D chip architecture for atomic cubits developed in 2015, and the team were able to align cubits with nanometer precision, and demonstrate a method for building a second layer of qubits on top of the first with very high precision.

“This 3D device architecture is a significant advancement for atomic qubits in silicon,” Professor Simmons said.

“To be able to constantly correct for errors in quantum calculations – an important milestone in our field – you have to be able to control many qubits in parallel.

“The only way to do this is to use a 3D architecture, so in 2015 we developed and patented a vertical crisscross architecture. However, there were still a series of challenges related to the fabrication of this multi-layered device. With this result we have now shown that engineering our approach in 3D is possible in the way we envisioned it a few years ago.”

Results of the latest work also demonstrate a method for measuring the output of the 3D device with a single, accurate measurement rather than an averaging of many.

This is an achievement that Professor Simmons said will greatly aid future development of a universal quantum computer and eventual commercialisation of the technology, based on CQC2T intellectual property.

“We are working systematically towards a large-scale architecture that will lead us to the eventual commercialisation of the technology,” she said.

“While we are still at least a decade away from a large-scale quantum computer, the work of CQC2T remains at the forefront of innovation in this space. Concrete results such as these reaffirm our strong position internationally.”

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