(TheConversation) Quantum devices using atomically heavy materials such as silicon or metals need to be cooled to low temperatures near absolute zero to for robust electron spin states. Disordering of electron spins results in loss of information. Other materials have been used to perform quantum manipulations at room temperature. But these materials need to be isotopically engineered, which requires large facilities like nuclear reactors, and pose limitations around qubit density.
Mohammad Choucair, a research fellow at the University of Sydney, has just published a paper in Nature Communications demonstrating that a long conduction electron spin lifetime in metallic-like material made up of carbon nanospheres can be achieved at room temperature. This material was produced simply by burning naphthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs. Choucair writes, “This very easy preparation of a carbon material using common laboratory reagents reduces many of the technological barriers to realising practical quantum computing.”