A new study revealed that silicon can be employed to manipulate quantum bits for the future quantum computer devices because of silicon’s improved spin-orbit interaction. Accordingly, silicon quantum computer chips possess the property of keeping millions of quantum bits (qubits) for faster processing of data in comparison to the current computing technologies.
A team of scientists from the Technological University of Delft (Netherlands), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Purdue University have noticed that the silicon, as a material, possess a unique property which is fabulous in the world of quantum physics. Namely, silicon has an improved spin-orbit interaction which eases up the process of controlling quantum bits by the use of electrical fields.
“Qubits encoded in the spins of electrons are especially long-lived in silicon, but they are difficult to control by electric fields. Spin-orbit interaction is an important knob for the design of qubits that was thought to be small in this material, traditionally,” said Rajib Rahman from the Purdue University.
Silicon possesses remarkable spin-orbit interaction and a silicon quantum computer chip would improve quantum bits manipulation
The level of the spin-orbit interaction is significant for quantum bits. The scientists uncovered that the silicon’s surface presents improved spin-orbit interaction and there the quantum bits are present in the form of the so-called quantum dots (electrons limited in three dimensions), reports Phys.
“If there is a strong spin-orbit interaction, the quantum bit’s lifetime is shorter but you can manipulate it more easily. The opposite happens with a weak spin-orbit interaction, namely, the qubit’s lifetime is longer, but manipulation is more difficult,” explained Rahman.
This study, supported by the Army Research Office and the US Department of Energy, among others, has been issued on June 5th in the Nature Partner Journals – Quantum Information and will be followed by further studies to pave the way to the development of silicon quantum computer chips to better control and manipulate quantum bits.