(NewsWise) DOE’s Office of Science is supporting research on a number of different technologies to help move qubits forward. “To realize quantum computing’s enormous scientific potential, we need to reimagine quantum R&D by simultaneously exploring a range of possible solutions,” said Irfan Siddiqi, a quantum physicist at the DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley. Those technologies include:

Superconducting Qubits:
Superconducting qubits are currently the most advanced qubit technology. Most existing quantum computers use superconducting qubits, including the one that “beat” the world’s fastest supercomputer.

Qubits Using Defects:
Defects are spaces where atoms are missing or misplaced in a material’s structure. These spaces change how electrons move in the materials. In certain quantum materials, these spaces trap electrons, allowing researchers to access and control their spins.

Materials by Design
While some scientists are investigating how to use existing materials, others are taking a different tack – designing materials from scratch. This approach builds custom materials molecule by molecule. By customizing metals, the molecules or ions bound to metals, and the surrounding environment, scientists can potentially control quantum states at the level of a single particle.

The surprises in quantum just keep coming.  David Awschalom, a quantum physicist at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago as well as Director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange compared our present-day situation to the 1950s when scientists were exploring the potential of transistors. At the time, transistors were less than half an inch long. Now laptops have billions of them. Quantum computing stands in a similar place.

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