Archer touts performing early-stage validation of quantum computing chip

The Australian company says it has successfully performed its first measurement on a single qubit component.

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Archer staff operating the specialised conduction atomic force microscopy instrumentation required to perform the measurements. 

Image: Archer Materials

Archer Materials has announced a milestone in its race to build a room-temperature quantum computing quantum bit (qubit) processor, revealing it has successfully performed its first measurement on a single qubit component.

"We have successfully performed our first measurement on a single qubit component, which is the most important component, marking a significant period moving forward in the development of Archer's 12CQ quantum computing chip technology," CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said.

"Building and operating the 12CQ chip requires measurements to be successfully performed at the very limits of what can be achieved technologically in the world today."

See also: Australia's ambitious plan to win the quantum race

Choucair said directly proving room-temperature conductivity of the 12CQ chip qubit component advances Archer's development towards a working chip prototype.

Archer said conductivity measurements on single qubit components were carried out using conductive atomic force microscopy that was configured using "state-of-the-art instrumentation systems", housed in a semiconductor prototype foundry cleanroom.

"The measurements directly and unambiguously proved, with nanometre-scale precision, the conductivity of single qubits at room-temperature in ambient environmental conditions (e.g. in the presence of air, moisture, and at normal atmospheric pressures," Archer said in a statement.

It said the measurements progress its technological development towards controlling quantum information that reside on individual qubits, which is a key componentry requirement for a working quantum computing qubit processor.

Another key component is readout.

"Control must be performed prior to readout, as these subsequent steps represent a logical series in the 12CQ quantum computing chip function," Archer wrote.

See also: What is quantum computing? Understanding the how, why and when of quantum computers

In announcing last week it was progressing work on its graphene-based biosensor technology, Archer said it was focusing on establishing commercial partnerships to bring its work out of the lab and convert it into viable products.

Archer on Monday said it intends to develop the 12CQ chip to be sold directly and have the intellectual property rights to the chip technology licensed.

"The technological significance of the work is inherently tied to the commercial viability of the 12CQ technology. The room-temperature conductivity potentially enables direct access to the quantum information stored in the qubits by means of electrical current signals on-board portable devices, which require conducting materials to operate, for both control and readout," Choucair added.

He said the intrinsic materials feature of conductivity in Archer's qubit material down to the single qubit level represents a "significant commercial advantage" over competing qubit proposals that rely on insulating materials, such as diamond-based materials or photonic qubit architectures.

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