Researchers have developed a new hardware platform based on a hexagonal boron nitride, a semiconductor material with a thickness of one atom, in which electrons are captured by structural defects, which allows you to measure their spin and use as quicens.
For the operation of quantum computers, special hardware is needed, which allows access, measure and manipulate individual quantum states. However, the existing options require maintaining a very low temperature. The alternative is the system based on diamonds with defects in the crystal structure, but in three-dimensional materials it is difficult to accurately monitor the state of the spins.
Therefore, a group of engineers from the University of Pennsylvania and researchers from the Australian National University worked on searching for a two-dimensional material, which would perform a flat analogue of diamond. Initially, it can be assumed that it should be graphene, which also consists of carbon atoms, but it behaves like a metal, not a semiconductor. Therefore, scientists have shifted the database of available 2D materials and found that the hexagonal boron nitride, which is widely used as a dielectric layer in two-dimensional electronics, has the necessary structure and characteristics of the semiconductor.
It was previously known that the material contains defects in a cellular grid that can emit light. However, researchers found that under the influence of the magnetic field in some of these defects, the radiation intensity changes. The magnet controls the rotation, and it determines the number of photons emitted. This signal can potentially be used as a qubit.
Such a feature of the material will also create new sensitive sensors, with which the structure and internal dynamics of individual molecules can be measured. For example, when studying chemical reactions and collapsing proteins.
Despite the analysis of defects, the scientists did not manage to establish why some have spin-dependent optical properties, and others are not. Therefore, in the future they plan to identify their key differences in order to learn to recreate them.
Previously, Physics from the Canadian University Alberta improved another component of the future computer. They developed