Quantum bits are now easier to manipulate for devices in quantum computing, thanks to enhanced spin-orbit interaction in silicon.
A silicon quantum computer chip has the potential to hold millions of quantum bits, or qubits, for much faster information processing than with the bits of today's computers. This translates to high-speed database searches, better cybersecurity and highly efficient simulation of materials and chemical processes.
Now, research groups from Purdue University, the Technological University of Delft, Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that silicon has unique spin-orbit interactions that can enable the manipulation of qubits using electric fields, without the need for any artificial agents.
"Qubits encoded in the spins of electrons are especially long-lived in silicon, but they are difficult to control by electric fields. Spin-orbit interaction is an important knob for the design of qubits that was thought to be small in this material, traditionally," said Rajib Rahman, research assistant professor in Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The strength of spin-orbit interaction, which is the interaction of an electron's spin with its motion, is an important factor for the quality of a qubit. The researchers found more prominent spin-orbit interaction than usual at the surface of silicon where qubits are located in the form of so-called quantum dots - electrons confined in three dimensions. Rahman's lab identified that this spin-orbit interaction is anisotropic in nature - meaning that it is dependent on the angle of an external magnetic field - and strongly affected by atomic details of the surface.
"This anisotropy can be employed to either enhance or minimize the strength of the spin-orbit interaction," said Rifat Ferdous, lead author of this work and a Purdue graduate research assistant in electrical and computer engineering. Spin-orbit interaction then affects qubits.
"If there is a strong spin-orbit interaction, the qubit's lifetime is shorter but you can manipulate it more easily. The opposite happens with a weak spin-orbit interaction: The qubit's lifetime is longer, but manipulation is more difficult," Rahman said.
The researchers published their findings on June 5 in Nature Partner Journals - Quantum Information. The Wisconsin-Madison team fabricated the silicon device, the Delft team performed the experiments and the Purdue team led the theoretical investigation of the experimental observations. This work is supported by the Army Research Office, U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the European Research Council.
Upcoming work in Rahman's lab will focus on taking advantage of the anisotropic nature of spin-orbit interactions to further enhance the coherence and control of qubits, and, therefore, the scaling up of quantum computer chips.
Valley dependent anisotropic spin splitting in silicon quantum dots
Rifat Ferdous1, Erika Kawakami2, Pasquale Scarlino2, Micha? P. Nowak2,3, D. R. Ward4, D. E. Savage4, M. G. Lagally4, S. N. Coppersmith4, Mark Friesen4, Mark A. Eriksson4, Lieven M. K. Vandersypen2 and Rajib Rahman1
1Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
2Technical University of Delft, Delft, Netherlands
3AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland
4University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
Spin qubits hosted in silicon (Si) quantum dots (QD) are attractive due to their exceptionally long coherence times and compatibility with the silicon transistor platform. To achieve electrical control of spins for qubit scalability, recent experiments have utilized gradient magnetic fields from integrated micro-magnets to produce an extrinsic coupling between spin and charge, thereby electrically driving electron spin resonance (ESR). However, spins in silicon QDs experience a complex interplay between spin, charge, and valley degrees of freedom, influenced by the atomic scale details of the confining interface. Here, we report experimental observation of a valley dependent anisotropic spin splitting in a Si QD with an integrated micro-magnet and an external magnetic field. We show by atomistic calculations that the spin-orbit interaction (SOI), which is often ignored in bulk silicon, plays a major role in the measured anisotropy. Moreover, inhomogeneities such as interface steps strongly affect the spin splittings and their valley dependence. This atomic-scale understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors controlling the valley dependent spin properties is a key requirement for successful manipulation of quantum information in Si QDs.
Kayla Wiles | EurekAlert!
A nanotech sensor that turns molecular fingerprints into bar codes
08.06.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
A webcam is enough to produce a real-time 3D model of a moving hand
08.06.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
28.05.2018 | Event News
11.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
11.06.2018 | Life Sciences
11.06.2018 | Materials Sciences