Scientists Create the World’s Purest Silicon – Revolutionizing Quantum Computers

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High-performance qubit devices are a fundamental part of quantum computing, and so a new ultra-pure form of silicon would allow the construction of high-performance qubit devices for scalable quantum computers. A team of scientists from the University of Manchester and the University of Melbourne discovered this new form of pure silicon.

According to Innovation News Network, one of the biggest challenges in developing quantum computers is that their qubits are highly sensitive and require a stable environment to maintain the information they hold (even tiny changes in their environment like temperature fluctuations can cause computer errors).

Another issue is the qubits’ scale in physical size and processing power – ten qubits have the same power as 1,024 bits in a normal computer and can occupy a much smaller space. A fully performing quantum computer needs around one million qubits and is able to provide capabilities much greater than any classical computer.

So how does silicon come into play? While scientists believe it could also be the answer to scalable quantum computers, using it in quantum computers presents several challenges.

Natural silicon is made up of three atoms of different mass, and one of them can trigger the ‘nuclear flip-flopping’ effect that causes the qubit to lose information. The scientists managed to develop a way to remove the problematic atom and create the perfect material to make scalable and highly accurate quantum computers.

“The great advantage of silicon quantum computing is that the same techniques that are used to manufacture the electronic chips — currently within an everyday computer that consist of billions of transistors — can be used to create qubits for silicon-based quantum devices,” explained PhD researcher Ravi Acharya. “The ability to create high-quality silicon qubits has in part been limited to date by the purity of the silicon starting material used. The breakthrough purity we show here solves this problem.”

This breakthrough signals a future of scalable quantum computers with unparalleled performance and capabilities and holds the promise of transforming technologies in magnificent ways.

Project co-supervisor, Professor David Jamieson from the University of Melbourne, said that this technology opens the path to reliable quantum computers that promise step changes across society, including in artificial intelligence, secure data and communications, vaccine and drug design, and energy use, logistics and manufacturing.