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Scalable room temperature solid-state quantum information processor

A team of Harvard, CalTech and Max-Planck-Institute physicists led by Mikhail D. Lukin has proposed an architecture for a scalable, solid-state quantum information processor capable of operating at or near room temperature. The architecture is applicable to realistic conditions, which include disorder and relevant decoherence mechanisms, and includes a hierarchy of control at successive length scales.

The approach is based upon recent experimental advances involving Nitrogen-Vacancy color centers in diamond and will provide fundamental insights into the physics of non-equilibrium many-body quantum systems. Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond stand out among other promising qubit implementations in that their electronic spins can be individually polarized, manipulated and optically detected under room temperature conditions. The nuclear spin, which has a long coherence time, serves as the memory qubit, storing quantum information, while the electronic spin will be used to initialize, read out, and mediate coupling between nuclear spins of adjacent registers. While in principle, a perfect array of NV centers would enable scalable quantum information processing, in practice, the finite creation efficiency of such centers along with the requirements for parallelism, necessitate the coupling of registers separated by significantly larger distances. To overcome this challenge, this international team of scientists demonstrate that the coupling between NV centers can be mediated by an optically un-addressable “dark'' spin chain data bus (DSCB). While the implementation and integration of the various proposed elements still require substantial advances in areas ranging from quantum control to materials science, this feasible approach to room temperature quantum information processing can greatly alleviate the stringent requirements associated with cryogenic temperatures, thereby making the realization of a scalable quantum computer significantly more practical.

This technology provides a feasible approach to room temperature quantum information processing, which can greatly alleviate the stringent requirements associated with cryogenic temperatures, thereby making the realization of a scalable quantum computer significantly more practical.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending

Applications

Quantum Information Processing has the potential to revolutionize many areas of science and technology. It exploits fundamentally new modes of computation and communication, because it is based on the physical laws of quantum mechanics instead of classical physics. It holds the promise of immense computing power beyond the capabilities of any classical computer, it guarantees absolutely secure communication, and it is directly linked to emerging quantum technologies, such as, for example, quantum-based sensors.

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