The research, published in the journal Nature, was led by researchers at Princeton University in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Konstanz in Germany and the Joint Quantum Institute, which is a partnership of the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The team created qubits from single electrons trapped in silicon chambers known as double quantum dots. By applying a magnetic field, they showed they could transfer quantum information, encoded in the electron property known as spin, to a particle of light, or photon, opening the possibility of transmitting the quantum information.
Breakout - Year - Silicon - Spin - Qubits
"This is a breakout year for silicon spin qubits," said Jason Petta, professor of physics at Princeton. "This work expands our efforts in a whole new direction, because it takes you out of living in a two-dimensional landscape, where you can only do nearest-neighbor coupling, and into a world of all-to-all connectivity," he said. "That creates flexibility in how we make our devices."
Quantum devices offer computational possibilities that are not possible with today's computers, such as factoring large numbers and simulating chemical reactions. Unlike conventional computers, the devices operate according to the quantum mechanical laws that govern very small structures such as single atoms and sub-atomic particles. Major technology firms are already building quantum computers based on superconducting qubits and other approaches.
Result - Path - Systems - Recipe - Semiconductor
"This result provides a path to scaling up to more complex systems following the recipe of the semiconductor industry," said Guido Burkard, professor of physics at the University of Konstanz, who provided guidance on theoretical aspects in collaboration with Monica Benito, a postdoctoral researcher. "That is the vision, and this is a very important step."
Jacob Taylor, a member of the team and a fellow at the Joint Quantum Institute, likened the light to a wire that can connect spin qubits. "If you want...
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