(ChicagoMaroon) A recent study led by doctorate students at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering demonstrated that a semiconducting material common in classical electronics can reliably transfer and store information from one quantum device to another.
To send qubits across physical space, quantum computers use solid-state single photon emitters. Until recently, experimental quantum computers relied heavily on nitrogen-vacancy (N-V) centers in diamonds for communication between quantum nodes. According to the researchers, in addition to being expensive, diamonds are difficult to mold into quantum devices.
“For a very long time, people thought N-V centers in diamonds were a unique system,” said Alexandre Bourassa, one of the lead researchers on the project. “They could manipulate it nicely and it has this sort of optical interface that allows you to talk to light…but the biggest concern is in terms of practicality. Diamond is a very difficult material to do fabrication on. To make small quantum devices is very difficult with diamond.”
One possible application is a Chicago quantum internet, which is currently under development by the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory. Such a network could have wide-ranging effects.