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Scientists Demonstrate Key Component of Quantum Machine

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Artist's impression of a single phosphorus atom.

An artists impression of a single phosphorus atom, placed in the vicinity of a silicon transistor.

Credit: Computerworld Australia

University of New South Wales (UNSW) researchers have demonstrated a quantum bit based on the nucleus of a single atom in silicon, a breakthrough they say could lead to the mass production of powerful quantum computers within 10 years.

The advance is a significant step forward from the creation of the world's first quantum bit in September 2012. "The previous quantum bit, although demonstrated, didn’t have the accuracy necessary to do reliable calculations; now we have a quantum bit that can do that," says UNSW professor Andrew Dzurak.

Having more accurate quantum bits will enable researchers to make more viable quantum machines. "We achieved a read-out fidelity of 99.8 percent, which sets a new benchmark for qubit accuracy in solid-state devices," Dzurak says.

The discovery describes how information is stored and retrieved using the magnetic spin of a nucleus. "We have adapted magnetic-resonance technology, commonly known for its application in chemical analysis and MRI scans, to control and read out the nuclear spin of a single atom in real time," says UNSW professor Andrea Morello. "Our nuclear spin qubit...[is] in a silicon chip and can be wired up and operated electrically like normal integrated circuits."

From Computerworld Australia
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