'Valley states' in this super-thin material could potentially be used for quantum computing

phys.org | 5/1/2017 | Staff
Mireille (Posted by) Level 3
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New research on two-dimensional tungsten disulfide (WS2) could open the door to advances in quantum computing.

In a paper published Sept. 13 in Nature Communications, scientists report that they can manipulate the electronic properties of this super-thin material in ways that could be useful for encoding quantum data.

Study - Deals - WS2 - Energy - Valleys

The study deals with WS2's energy valleys, which University at Buffalo physicist Hao Zeng, co-lead author of the paper, describes as "the local energy extrema of the electronic structure in a crystalline solid."

Valleys correspond with specific energies that electrons can have in a material, and the presence of an electron in one valley versus another can be used to encode information. An electron in one valley can represent a 1 in binary code, while an electron in the other can represent a 0.

Ability - Electrons - Advances - Computing - Creation

The ability to control where electrons might be found could yield advances in quantum computing, enabling the creation of qubits, the basic unit of quantum information. Qubits have the mysterious quality of being able to exist not just in a state of 1 or 0, but in a "superposition" related to both states.

The paper in Nature Communications marks a step toward these future technologies, demonstrating a novel method of manipulating valley states in WS2.

Zeng - PhD - Professor - Physics - UB

Zeng, Ph.D., professor of physics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, led the project with Athos Petrou, Ph.D., UB Distinguished Professor of Physics, and Renat Sabirianov, Ph.D., chair of physics at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Additional co-authors included UB physics graduate students Tenzin Norden, Chuan Zhao and Peiyao Zhang. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Two-dimensional tungsten disulfide is a single layer of the material that's three atoms thick. In this configuration, WS2 has two energy valleys, both with the same energy.

Past - Research - Field - Energy

Past research has shown that applying a magnetic field can shift the energy...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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