If quantum computers existed, they would revolutionize computing as we know it. Based on fundamental properties of matter, the potential power of these theoretical workhorses would solve problems in a new way, cracking extremely complex spy codes and precisely modeling chemical systems in a snap. This week in ACS Central Science, researchers create cleverly designed molecules to get one step closer to this goal.
Traditional computers rely on transistors that occupy one of two states -- that's what those archetypal zeroes and ones refer to, and each digit is a "bit." Quantum computing would use three states, improving its information storage capacity exponentially.
Whereas a small app like "Angry Birds" takes up about 40,000 standard bits, a computer made with just 1,000 quantum bits, or "qubits," could easily and quickly break modern encryption schemes or more precisely model how a pharmaceutical drug candidate would perform in a person. The biggest challenge of quantum computing, however, is making the qubit.
Some of the most promising qubits today use electrons, specifically their "spin" state. Spin can have two states, just like a bit, but also a combination of both to form a third state, called "superposition." But very few molecules stay in the superposition state long enough to measure, which makes them difficult to use in computing.
One reason is that the interaction of spins on most nuclei can interfere with the electronic ones. To get closer to a real, functional qubit, Danna Freedman and colleagues turned to metal complexes, where most of those problematic nuclear spins were eliminated.
Freedman and colleagues synthesized vanadium complexes with arms made of carbon and sulfur. As long as the system was kept cold, these molecules kept superposition longer than any metal complexes previously reported. They also kept that state for just as long as other bulk materials currently under consideration.
These new molecules show that under the right conditions, inorganic complexes can function as viable qubits. In addition, the complexes may prove to be superior to other potential materials because their defined chemical structure could more easily allow the organized design of functional devices. To get a little meta: it's possible that one day computers made of just a handful of small molecules will be used to make predictions about other molecules.
The paper will be freely available on Dec. 2 at this link: http://pubs.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy