February 21, 2024

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University of Michigan’s Quantum Computing Breakthrough

Quantum computing is a rapidly developing field with the potential to revolutionise many industries. As quantum computers become more powerful and affordable, they will likely play an increasingly important role, especially in tackling complex computational problems that are currently beyond the reach of classical computers. One of the key promises of quantum computing lies in its ability to perform certain calculations exponentially faster than classical computers.

Image credits: news.umich.edu

In a significant step towards the realisation of room-temperature quantum computers, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a method for transporting excitons. This breakthrough could pave the way for a new era of computing. This innovation, challenging conventional wisdom, including Einstein’s relation, opens avenues for developing highly efficient devices.

Excitons, peculiar electron-hole pairs devoid of a net electrical charge, find applications in diverse fields, from natural photosynthesis to technologies like OLED displays, LEDs, and solar cells. The University of Michigan researchers, led by Parag Deotare and Mackillo Kira, have harnessed the ability to manipulate excitons with precision, potentially enhancing the efficiency of existing devices and advancing into the realm of excitonics for computing.

The research presented a pyramid-shaped structure, similar to a wire, serving as a pathway for excitons. This pyramid design successfully addresses the inherent difficulty of mobilising excitons attributed to their absence of a net charge. It provides exceptional accuracy in conveying smaller excitons, which is crucial for prospective applications.

Using a laser, the operating principle involves creating a cloud of excitons at a designated corner of the pyramid’s base. A thin layer of tungsten diselenide semiconductor, only three atoms thick, covers the pyramid, modifying the energy landscape for excitons. The stretching of the semiconductor alters the energy gap between the valence and conduction bands, prompting excitons to migrate to the lowest energy state along the pyramid’s edge before rising to its peak.

While previous studies, led by Deotare, utilised acoustic waves to propel excitons through semiconductors, this pyramid structure offers a more refined transport mechanism. The lack of net charge in excitons, an advantage in avoiding energy losses, has historically posed challenges in their precise movement.

The study also challenges Einstein’s relation, revealing that its application to predict exciton mobility in complex scenarios may need to be revised. Defects in the semiconductor were found to act as traps, influencing the diffusion of excitons.

Mackillo Kira, Co-corresponding Author of the study, envisioned the potential for room-temperature quantum computing. Excitons, capable of encoding quantum information and retaining it longer than electrons in a semiconductor, could play a pivotal role in overcoming the challenges associated with the degradation of quantum information.

Beyond quantum computing, the team is exploring the integration of lightwave electronics to amplify the processing capabilities of excitonics. This research’s transformative nature extends its applications beyond computing, presenting opportunities for advancements in diverse technological fields.

Supported by the Army Research Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, this pioneering work created the pyramid structure at the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility. With patent protection sought with the assistance of University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships, the team is actively seeking partnerships to bring this technology to market.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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