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Researchers Develop Method Embedding Atoms One-by-One to Build Quantum Chip

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The researchers described how a tiny hole was drilled in the cantilever, so that when it was showered with phosphorous atoms, one would occasionally drop through the hole and embed in the silicon substrate.

The new technique takes advantage of the precision of the atomic microscope.

Credit: University of Melbourne (Australia)

A new silicon construction technique developed by German and Australian researchers could potentially make building quantum computers more affordable and reliable.

The method can implant atoms one-by-one into the silicon substrate of a quantum chip, using the cantilever of an atomic force microscope.

The researchers created new electronics to amplify the "click" sound made when an atom drops into the substrate, generating "a loud and reliable signal," said David Jamieson at Australia's University of Melbourne.

The method combines the microscope with x-ray detectors and a computer model for the trajectory of silicon-implanted ions.

Andrea Morello at Australia's University of New South Wales believes the technique could be used to construct a quantum bit (qubit) "chip" for use in experiments to test designs for large-scale quantum devices.

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