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Breakthrough Offers New Route to Large-Scale Quantum Computing

Princeton University (10/19/12) John Sullivan

Princeton University researchers have developed a method that allows for the quick and reliable transfer of quantum information throughout a computing device, and could help engineers build a quantum computer that consists of millions of qubits.  “The whole game at this point in quantum computing is trying to build a larger system,” says Princeton professor Andrew Houck.  The researchers used a stream of microwave photons to analyze a pair of electrons trapped in a quantum dot.  “The microwaves are affected by the spin states of the electrons in the cavity, and we can read that change,” says Princeton professor Jason Petta.  The method combines techniques from materials science and optics.  To make the quantum dots, the researchers isolated a pair of electrons on a small section of material known as a semiconductor nanowire, and then created small electron cages along the wire.  The researchers found that electrons of similar spin will repel, while those of different spins will attract.  “The methods we are using here are scalable, and we would like to use them in a larger system,” Petta says.

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