UNSW engineers achieve quantum milestone with four control methods in single atom

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Quantum computing engineers at UNSW Sydney have demonstrated the ability to encode quantum information in four distinct ways within a single atom, all housed within a silicon chip.

This remarkable advancement, detailed in a recent publication in Nature Communications, showcases the potential for more flexible and efficient quantum chip designs.

By harnessing the unique properties of an antimony atom embedded within the silicon chip, the researchers have unlocked new avenues for quantum information manipulation, the university said in a news release.

Lead author Irene Fernandez de Fuentes explained that the team, supervised by Scientia Professor Andrea Morello, utilised over ten years of research to demonstrate that various quantum control methods could be applied within a single atom.

These methods, previously demonstrated individually, have now been seamlessly integrated into a single silicon chip architecture.

Professor Andrea Morello, who heads the project, highlighted the importance of this accomplishment, pointing out that having four distinct methods provides computer engineers and physicists with greater flexibility in designing upcoming quantum computing chips.

Looking ahead, the team said it plans to explore the integration of error-corrected logical qubits within the antimony atom.

This represents a significant step towards commercially viable quantum hardware, with the potential to reshape industries and tackle complex computational challenges.

Professor Morello concluded, “Being able to build an error-corrected logical qubit within a single atom will be a tremendous opportunity for scaling up silicon quantum hardware to the point where it becomes commercially useful.”