Designing new materials as platforms for robust quantum devices
Thursday, March 25, 2023
For researchers to successfully engineer future quantum computers, it will be important for them to use the right materials.
Dr. Jonathan Baugh, a professor at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the University of Waterloo’s Department of Chemistry, is working to create new, high-quality materials with desirable properties for these future applications in quantum computing.
After several years of work, Baugh and his collaborators have found a method for growing crystalline structures using the semiconductor indium antimonide, which has been engineered with specific purposes in mind. This is an exciting first step towards building designer quantum devices.
Baugh’s research group has created an indium antimonide platform designed for a type of qubit known as a Majorana fermion. While still theoretical, these qubits are predicted to have better resilience to noise and decoherence compared with other types of qubits due to their unique physics. Majorana qubits are shielded from outside influences due to the way their information is encoded across highly non-local quantum states. This protection is an attractive property that could make future quantum computers less susceptible to errors. Indium antimonide has a unique combination of properties, including high electron mobility and strong spin-orbit coupling, that when combined with a superconductor, yield just the right conditions for Majorana fermions to appear.
Field effect two-dimensional electron gases in modulation-doped InSb surface quantum wells was published in Applied Physics Letters on January 4th, 2023. This research was supported in part by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund through the TQT program at IQC.