Superposition, the weird quantum state of existing in two places at once, is a notoriously unstable condition. But now a team of scientists at Oxford University, Simon Frase University and Berlin University report that they have managed to coax a the spins of ultra-pure silicon’s atomic nuclei to remain superpositioned for an astonishing three minutes and 12 seconds.
Qubits and Pieces
News from the frontline of the weird and wonderful world of quantum computing. From the theoretical musings of solid state physicists to breakthroughs you might actually see in a data centre in your lifetime, we'll be keeping an eye on stuff that matters in materials science, including graphene, condensed matter, diamonds and so on. And last, but by no mean least, we'll be tracking the spin on spintronics. Just don't mention room temperature.
Lucy Sherriff is a journalist, science geek and general liker of all things techie and clever. In a previous life she put her physics degree to moderately good use by writing about science for that other tech website, The Register. After a bit of a break, it seemed like a good time to start blogging about weird quantum stuff for ZDNet. And so here we are.
While researchers hoping to make graphene a serious contender to silicon’s electronic throne have some work still ahead of them, the material is finding more immediate application in other industrial areas.(This is probably the materials science version of waiting tables while auditioning for film roles in your spare time.
Researchers at Georgia Tech in the US have found that the availability of hydrogen might be the key to making graphene oxide behave well enough for use in nanoelectronics.It turns out that for more than a month after production, graphene oxide continues to interact with hydrogen, if it is available.
Researchers at Samsung’s Advance Institute of Technology have developed a new transistor structure using everyone’s favourite two-dimensional material, Graphene.Despite its wonderful conductivity, electron mobility and so on that make it such an alluring prospect for chip designers bumping into the physical limits of silicon, it has no band gap.
Researchers working at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona have built a super-sensitive photodetector by combining graphene with semiconducting quantum dots that outperforms other graphene based devices by a billion times.Speaking to PhysicsWorld , lead researcher Gerasimos Konstantatos explains: “We managed to successfully combine graphene with semiconducting nanocrystals to create complete new functionalities in terms of light sensing and light conversion to electricity.
Earlier this year, a group of researchers grew their own circuitry using proteins found in milk, mucus and blood. In a similar vein, scientists in Switzerland have announced work on layering proteins with graphene to create a new kind of conductive paper.
Sandwiching Ferric Chloride between two layers of graphene results in the most flexible, transparent conductive material ever, according to scientists at Exeter University.In a paper in Advanced Materials, the scientists describe how the sandwiching improves graphene’s poor conductivity – relative to the current transparent conductor of choice in electronics: Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).
An international group of scientists, working with the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) in the US have built the world’s largest ever quantum simulator, smashing previous record for the number of qubits. The device, which has passed a series of benchmarking tests, could be used to simulate problems in quantum mechanics that would be utterly intractable for a conventional computer.
MIT researchers have identified a new material that shares many of graphene’s interesting properties. Writing in Nano Letters, the researchers describe how thin films of bismuth-antimony share a property with graphene called two-dimensional Dirac cones.
Graphene has shown itself, once again, to be capable of great wonders, as IBM demonstrates a notch filter that operates in the terahertz – or infrared - range. The company also showed off a linear polariser using the same stacked material.