Confining Materials to Two Dimensions Creates Opportunities for Quantum Computing Advancements
ASU researcher makes quantum leaps in materials engineering
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+ Classic 3D materials that have enabled some of our most impressive technological progress can’t meet the demands necessary to rise to the next level of advancement, Sefaattin Tongay says.
Tongay, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Arizona State University, calls silicon a “great” material but says it has limited ability to produce significant improvements in devices beyond transistors and solar cells. He says cadmium mercury telluride is another good material to work with — but really just for developing better infrared detectors.
+ But when those and other versatile materials can be confined in two dimensions — something Tongay does in his work — new properties and capabilities emerge that open possibilities for using 2D materials to not only improve existing technologies but to create new ones with an array of productive uses.
+ “Our current technologies work by using electrons as communications carriers,” Tongay said. “Basically, all of our technology is based on electricity, and there is only so much you can do by relying on that.” Using quantum bits — the smallest quantities of radiant energy — instead of electrons could launch a plethora of new possibilities beyond the reach of conventional electronics. Quantum technology uses electromagnetic waves, photons (energy-carrying particles representing a quantum of light) and electron spin (a quantum property of electrons) as the sparks to energize devices and systems. Beyond boosting resiliency and reliability, new generation quantum devices and systems are designed to operate much faster than current versions while enabling completely new functionalities.
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