(PhysicsWorld) Researchers in Spain and Italy have constructed the first-ever quantum phase battery – a device that maintains a phase difference between two points in a superconducting circuit. The battery, which consists of an indium arsenide (InAs) nanowire in contact with aluminium (Al) superconducting leads, could be used in quantum computing circuits. It might also find applications in magnetometry and highly sensitive detectors based on superconductors.
The researchers, who report their work in Nature Nanotechnology, say they are now exploring other material combinations to improve the device’s performance and their ability to control it, as well as making it easier to integrate into quantum circuits.
“One idea we are pushing forward is to use a superconducting wire in contact with a ferromagnetic insulator as a battery,” Iorio explains. “The latter will provide a sizeable exchange field that we can accurately control and we are fabricating and characterizing such a system at the moment.”

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