Atom By Atom, A Silicon Quantum Computer Chip

Atom By Atom, A Silicon Quantum Computer Chip  


This article explains all you need to know about Atom by atom, a silicon quantum computer chip.

Atom by atom: revolutionary silicon chip method enables quantum computing. 

Quantum computers might be built inexpensively and consistently using a novel approach developed by a University of Melbourne team that embeds single atoms in silicon wafers one by one, similar to how conventional electronics are built. 

The novel method, developed by Professor David Jamieson and colleagues from UNSW Sydney, HZDR, IOM, and RMIT, can construct large-scale patterns of counted atoms that can be manipulated, coupled, and read-out. 

Professor Jamieson, lead author of the paper, said his team hoped to apply this technology to develop a massive quantum device. 

“We hope our method and the semiconductor industry’s manufacturing processes could eventually produce large-scale computers based on single atom quantum bits,” Professor Jamieson said.

In this case, the atomic force microscope is used, which features a sharp cantilever that “touches” the chip’s surface with half a nanometer precision. 

The team punched a tiny hole in the cantilever so that phosphorus atoms could fall through and lodge in the silicon substrate. 

The trick was to know when one atom – and only one – had entrenched itself in the substrate. It might then move to the next precise array point. 

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This small electronic “click” was discovered by using the kinetic energy of the atom plowing into the silicon crystal and dissipating it through friction. 

He said the researchers could “hear” each atom drop into one of the 10,000 places in the prototype device. 

To detect the click, we built incredibly sensitive electronics, which amplifies it and delivers a loud signal, a loud and reliable signal, Professor Jamieson explained. 

“That gives us confidence in our method. ‘Oh, there was a click. Just got an atom. Professor Jamieson said they may now move the cantilever to catch the next atom. 

It used to be that silicon chips were bombarded with phosphorus, which implanted in a random pattern, like raindrops on a glass. 

It embeds phosphorus ions accurately counting each one in a silicon substrate creating a qubit “chip” that may be used in lab studies to evaluate concepts for big scale devices. 

“This will allow us to build quantum logic operations between vast arrays of individual atoms,” Professor Morello added. 

It will now be arranged in an organized array, comparable to transistors in traditional semiconductor computer chips, instead of implanting numerous atoms at random and selecting the finest ones. 

Dr. Alexander (Melvin) Jakob of the University of Melbourne said the partnership required specialist equipment. 

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“We used advanced technology built for sensitive x-ray detectors and an atomic force microscope initially designed for the Rosetta space mission,” Dr. Jakob added. 

Our previous work on single atom qubits using this technology was groundbreaking, but this new discovery will speed up our work on large-scale systems. 

Quantum computers may enable new methods of scheduling and budgeting, unbreakable cryptography, computational medication design, and possibly faster vaccine development.

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