Quantum Spin in Sheets of Hexagonal Boron Nitride are Reading Out Quantum States. The sheer volume of data held in a quantum bit vice a classical binary bit’s 1 or 0 is the strength behind quantum computing as a “revolutionary technology.” But to harness this capability, hardware must be developed that can access, measure and manipulate individual quantum states.
The ability to read-out quantum states is an absolute requirement to the success of a quantum computer. A read-out contains the answer to the query presented to the quantum computer’s quantum bits, or qubits. To obtain the data read-out is a major challenge to advancing quantum computers. The quantum states must be accessed and measured without disturbing the quantum state; any decoherence of the state and your computing results are lost.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science have now demonstrated the capability to detect a system’s quantum states. The new hardware platform is based on isolated electron spins in a two-dimensional material wherein the “electrons are trapped by defects in sheets of hexagonal boron nitride, a one-atom-thick semiconductor material.”
“Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science have now demonstrated a new hardware platform based on isolated electron spins in a two-dimensional material. The electrons are trapped by defects in sheets of hexagonal boron nitride, a one-atom-thick semiconductor material, and the researchers were able to optically detect the system’s quantum states.” (Image Credit: Ann Sizemore Blevins)
“This study is bringing together two major areas of scientific research,” states Lee Bassett, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, at UPenn. “On one hand, there’s been a tremendous amount of work in expanding the library of 2-D materials and understanding the physics that they exhibit and the devices they can make. On the other hand, there’s the development of these different quantum architectures. And this is one of the first to bring them together to say ‘here’s a potentially room-temperature quantum architecture in a 2-D material.”