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Opening the Gate to Robust Quantum Computing

Ames Laboratory (04/09/12)

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Southern California have developed a method to protect quantum information from degradation by the environment while performing computation in a solid-state quantum system. They say the discovery could lead to robust quantum computation with solid-state devices and using quantum technologies for magnetic measurements with single-atom precision. “The big step forward here is that we were able to decouple individual qubits from the environment, so they retain their information, while preserving the coupling between the qubits themselves,” says Ames researcher Viatsheslav Dobrovitski. Solid-state hybrid systems are important for quantum information processing systems because they consist of different types of qubits that each perform separate functions. “This type of hybrid system may be particularly good for quantum information processing because electrons move fast, can be manipulated easily, but they also lose quantum information quickly,” Dobrovitski notes. The researchers found a point in which both the electron and the nucleus can be decoupled from their environment, while retaining their relationship with each other. They showed that this technique could be used for small-scale quantum information processing.

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