(R&DMagazine) Some researchers believe that topological qubits, which are tougher and less susceptible to environmental noise than other kinds, may be the best medium for pushing quantum computing forward. Michael Manfra, the Bill and Dee O’Brian Chair Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University, has built a mechanism that could help in the development of topological qubits down the road.
Manfra’s group builds teeny, tiny devices using a crystal growth technique that builds atomic layer by atomic layer, called molecular beam epitaxy. The devices are so small that they confine electrons to two dimensions. Like a marble rolling around on a tabletop, they can’t move up or down. The new device has identical walls on each side and metal gates, somewhat like a pinball machine. But unlike a pinball, which scatters around chaotically, the electrons in this device follow a very strict pattern.
“As far as we know, this is the only viable platform for trying to do more complex experiments that may, in more complicated states, be the basis of a topological qubit,” Manfra said. ”