After decades of efforts to shrink electronics, we have more 'good' electronics, but are almost reaching the limits set by Moore's law. Faced with the electronics industry's biggest obstacles, the brightest minds on earth, engineers and scientists find humanity a new direction: quantum information technology .
Quantum technology makes use of the strange laws of the particle world - rules that science still doesn't fully understand until now, just knowing that they can't coexist with the electronics we use every day.
But we had good news! Scientists at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering have just announced a new breakthrough: a special quantum state, which can exist and be driven by electrical devices made of silicon carbide, a semi-material. Lead is heavily used in electronics.
' We are amazed at the ability to create and manipulate quantum bits in conventional electronics, ' said David Awschalom, chief researcher and pioneer of quantum technology. good. ' These new discoveries change the way we think about developing quantum technology - maybe one day we will be able to use electrical appliances to create quantum devices .'
Physicist David Awschalom.
In two scientific papers published in Science and Science Advances, Awschalom's team demonstrated the ability to control quantum states electronically through silicon carbide materials. The breakthrough also opens up another possibility: it's simply designed quantum electronics, instead of having to use advanced materials such as superconducting metals, diamonds or atoms suspended in the air. .
Quantum states observed in silicon carbide also produce photons with wavelengths that are roughly equivalent to telecom bands. ' This enables them to communicate via existing fiber optic cables, which conduct 90% of the international data around the world, ' Awschalom said.
Moreover, these photons also possess their own characteristics when combined with existing electronics. As in the report published in Science Advances, the research team can create 'quantum FM radios' ; Similar to how you turn on the radio, quantum information can also be transmitted very far.
In a report published in Science, the team describes another level of disruption, a way to deal with the common problem in quantum technology, which is 'noise'.
' Semiconductor devices are doped, and at the quantum level, these impurities can confuse quantum information and create electromagnetic disturbances ,' said study co-author Chris Anderson. 'We can see this as a problem affecting all quantum technologies '.
However, using just a simple tool of the electricity industry, which is the diode device - a one-way switch that directs the electron, the team comes to the unexpected conclusion: quantum signals are suddenly no longer Noise, almost absolute stability.
From the left are researchers Kevin Miao, Chris Anderson and Alexandre Bourassa.
' In the experiment, we had to use a laser, except they made the electron fly around in the test material. It's like playing music and robbing chairs with electrons; when the light is turned off, everything immediately stops, every particle is in one place, 'said Alexandre Bourassa, the study's co-author. ' The problem is that the fact that electrons lie randomly will affect the quantum state of the system. But then we discovered that when we applied the electric field, it was possible to eliminate all the electrons and make the system much more stable. '
By combining the physics of quantum mechanics with semiconductor technology that has been developed to maturity, Awschalom and his colleagues led the quantum technology revolution.
' This work takes us one step closer to the ability to store and distribute quantum information on existing fiber optic systems ,' Awschalom said. 'That quantum network will bring new technologies, which will enable the creation of non-hackable communications networks that can' instantiate 'the particle state and then build the quantum Internet .'