New advances in diamond spin quantum bits

New advances in diamond spin quantum bits

2022-05-24 13:35:37 6

Two independent teams of physicists in the United States have solved a major challenge in building a practical quantum computer. One team invented a new method for reading superconducting quantum bits (quantum bits), while the other team proposed a new way to obtain spin quantum bits in diamond for interaction.

Any viable quantum computer requires isolated quantum states that can store quantum bits of information over relatively long periods of time. These quantum bits must be able to interact with each other at the right time to be able to process the information and read out the results. It is these often conflicting requirements that make it very difficult to build a practical quantum computer.

In a second paper in Science, Mikhail Lukin and colleagues at Harvard University use two silicon vacancy centers in diamond as two quantum bits. The silicon vacancy centers are created when two adjacent carbon atoms in the diamond lattice are replaced by a silicon atom. The spin of silicon produces good quantum bits because it is isolated from electrical noise, but interacts with light at certain frequencies.

The challenge was to get the two silicon vacancy centers to interact with each other. The team placed two silicon vacancy centers in an optical cavity, which greatly increases the likelihood that they will interact: "Two silicon vacancy centers in a dark room is kind of like two people trying to send Morse code signals to each other with a dim flashlight," explains Ruffin Evans of Harvard University. "If you create a cavity by placing mirrors back-to-back on each wall, then the light will reflect back and forth, giving people more of a chance to see the signal." When tuned to the same frequency resonance, the two silicon cavity centers mix by interaction to form a super-radiative "bright" state and a non-radiative "dark" state.

Creating two interacting quantum bits is nothing new. Other researchers have gone a step further and created working quantum logic gates using different quantum bit techniques," Evans explains. "The innovation in our work is that even though the interaction between light and matter is usually very weak, we were able to use light to create an interaction between the two silicon vacancy centers. The next step is to use this interaction to create a true quantum gate. Such a system of devices should naturally help create a "quantum Internet" using photon-based quantum bit elements for long-distance transmission over optical fibers.

Barry Saunders of the University of Calgary, Canada, told Physics World magazine that he believes the work of McDermott's group could be directly applicable to quantum computing if measurement fidelity can be improved. He says: "Superconducting circuits are often considered the most promising direction for achieving scalable quantum computing, but a big drawback has always been the lack of single-photon detection." "This is a great plan that seems feasible to me."

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