Toward Mass-Producible Quantum Computers

May 26, 2017
artist's representation of a diamond-based quantum computer

Image credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Quantum computers are experimental devices that offer large speedups on some computational problems. One promising approach to building them involves harnessing nanometer-scale atomic defects in diamond materials.

But practical, diamond-based quantum computing devices will require the ability to position those defects at precise locations in complex diamond structures, where the defects can function as qubits, the basic units of information in quantum computing. In today's of Nature Communications, a team of researchers from MIT, Harvard University, and Sandia National Laboratories reports a new technique for creating targeted defects, which is simpler and more precise than its predecessors. The Harvard team was led by Prof. Mikhail Lukin.

"The dream scenario in quantum information processing is to make an optical circuit to shuttle photonic qubits and then position a quantum memory wherever you need it," says Dirk Englund, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science who led the MIT team. "We're almost there with this. These emitters are almost perfect."

Read "Toward mass-producible quantum computers" by Larry Hardesty,, May 26, 2017.

Also read the research article: T. Schröder, M.E. Trusheim, M. Walsh, L. Li, J. Zheng, M. Schukraft, A. Sipahigil, R.E. Evans, D.D. Sukachev, C.T. Nguyen, J.L. Pacheco, R.M. Camacho, E.S. Bielejec, M.D. Lukin & D. Englund, "Scalable focused ion beam creation of nearly lifetime-limited single quantum emitters in diamond nanostructures," Nature Communications 8 (2017) doi:10.1038/545414a.