DOE grants Small Business Tech Transfer Awards to UT Dallas partnership to commercialize quantum device manufacturing to scale
(HPCWire) The Department of Energy (DOE) granted two Small Business Technology Transfer awards to Dr. Reza Moheimani, the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology and professor of systems engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and to Zyvex Labs of Richardson, Texas. The grants provide $1.1 million over two years to Moheimani to support his research, as well as $1.1 million to Zyvex Labs.
University of Texas at Dallas researchers and a North Texas company are working to commercialize technology developed at the University that makes it possible for the first time to manufacture tiny quantum devices on a large scale.
Solid-state quantum computers have the potential to solve complex problems beyond the capability of conventional computers; however, the technology to manufacture sub-nanometer scale devices on a large scale has not been available.
“Manufacturing quantum devices is going to require the level of atomic precision that we can now provide through our new technology,” said Dr. John Randall, president and CEO of Zyvex Labs and former member and co-chair of the Jonsson School’s Industry Advisory Council. “This pathway is made possible by the wonderful work that Dr. Moheimani and his very talented postdocs and graduate students are doing.”
The project to commercialize the technology is one of several recent developments in the University’s efforts to advance solid-state quantum device manufacturing. UT Dallas launched the Center for Atomically Precise Fabrication of Solid-State Quantum Devices in 2019 to use technology developed at the University to build new quantum devices. UT Dallas provided a $700,000 grant to the center over four years through an Office of Research and Innovation seed grant.
Moving Technology to Next Step
Moheimani’s research, which has been supported by previous DOE grants, focuses on developing technology for atomically precise manufacturing, the process of building new materials and devices atom by atom.
Making a qubit, the basic unit of quantum information, involves performing atomic precision lithography to remove single hydrogen atoms selectively from a hydrogen passivated silicon surface. Moheimani and his team of researchers have worked to solve problems that limit the accuracy of the tool used to manipulate the atoms — a scanning tunneling microscope, or STM.