New material shows high potential for quantum computing


Peng Wei is a condensed-matter physicist at UC Riverside, studying quantum states of electrons in new products. Credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside.

A joint group of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is getting closer to validating the presence of an unique quantum particle called Majorana fermion, essential for fault-tolerant quantum computing—the sort of quantum computing that resolves mistakes throughout its operation.


Quantum computing utilizes quantum phenomena to carry out calculations. Majorana fermions exist at the limit of unique superconductors called topological superconductors, which have a superconducting space in their interiors and harbor Majorana fermions outside, at their borders. Majorana fermions are among the most in-demand things in quantum physics since they are their own antiparticles, they can divide the quantum state of an electron in half, and they follow various stats compared to electrons. Though lots of have actually declared to have actually recognized them, researchers still cannot validate their unique quantum nature.

The UCR-MIT group conquered the difficulty by establishing a new heterostructure material system, based upon gold, that might be possibly utilized to show the presence and quantum nature of Majorana fermions. Heterostructure products are comprised of layers of significantly different products that, together, reveal totally various performances when compared to their specific layers.

“It is highly nontrivial to find a material system that is naturally a topological superconductor,” stated Peng Wei, an assistant teacher of physics and astronomy and a condensed matter experimentalist, who co-led the research study, appearing in Physical Evaluation Letters, with Jagadeesh Moodera and Patrick Lee of MIT. “A material needs to satisfy several stringent conditions to become a topological superconductor.”

The Majorana fermion, thought about to be half of an electron, is anticipated to be discovered at the ends of a topological superconductor nanowire. Remarkably, 2 Majorana fermions can integrate with each other to comprise one electron, permitting the quantum states of the electron to be kept nonlocally—a benefit for fault-tolerant quantum computing.

In 2012, MIT theorists, led by Lee, anticipated that heterostructures of gold can end up being a topological superconductor under rigorous conditions. Experiments done by the UCR-MIT group have actually attained all the required conditions for heterostructures of gold.

“Achieving such heterostructure is highly demanding because several material physics challenges needed to be addressed first,” stated Wei, a UCR alum who went back to school in 2016 from MIT.

Wei discussed that the term paper shows superconductivity, magnetism, and electrons’ spin-orbit coupling can co-exist in gold—a challenging difficulty to fulfill—and be by hand blended with other products through heterostructures.

“Superconductivity and magnetism ordinarily do not coexist in the same material,” he stated.

Gold is not a superconductor, he included, and neither are the electron states on its surface area.

“Our paper shows for the first time that superconductivity can be brought to the surface states of gold, requiring new physics,” he stated. “We show that it is possible to make the surface state of gold a superconductor, which has never been shown before.”

The term paper likewise shows the electron density of superconductivity in the surface area states of gold can be tuned.

“This is important for future manipulation of Majorana fermions, required for better quantum computing,” Wei stated. “Also, the surface state of gold is a two-dimensional system that is naturally scalable, meaning it allows the building of Majorana fermion circuits.”

Besides Wei, Moodera, and Lee, the research study group likewise consists of Sujit Manna and Marius Eich of MIT.


Computing quicker with quasi-particles


More info:
Peng Wei et al. Superconductivity in the Surface Area State of Rare-earth Element Gold and its Fermi Level Tuning by EuS Dielectric, Physical Evaluation Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.247002

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University of California – Riverside

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New material shows high potential for quantum computing (2019, June 28)
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