The University of New South Wales' School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications has created what it says is the world's first working qubit based on a single atom. Detailed in a new Nature paper, A single-atom electron spin qubit in silicon, the qubit relies on the ability to impart “spin” to an electron bound to a …
"Reading spin a decidedly non-trivial task"
Hence, of course, the need for Reg hacks and their clarificatory capabilities!
Time until some douchtastic company tries to patent it out from under them?
Top work though.
Someone really *is* trying to engineer electron orbits.
This one atom technology looks to be about as far as conventional storage and processing can go.
What a superb achievement. However I will note 2 things.
1) No mention of temperature. Quite important for anyone not living on a moon of Pluto and having ready access to 4K (or in fact 20mK in the case of the last quantum logic technology the Reg covered)
2) "Isotropically enriched" Silicon (one of the paths they recommend for future devices) is likely to be *very* much more expensive than the regular kind.
Thumbs up for having something ready at the end of road for device shrinkage.
Presumably they're all PhD's so surely, for this special case of boffinry, the correct term here is "Spin Doctors"?
Oh I see!
I was a little confused by the article - then I saw the "Artist's Impresion" picture, and then it all made sense!
Obligatory Schrodinger reference
But how would they make a cat small enough to fit on a silicon chip? Some kind of shrinking ray?
@john smith 19
if they don't specifically brag about the high temperature: i.e. "room temperature" or "77K" or "4.2K", you can bet that it's done in millikelvin temperatures. Single electron devices pretty much always need a He3 dilution refrigerator or some such gadget.
Re: @john smith 19
"if they don't specifically brag about the high temperature: i.e. "room temperature" or "77K" or "4.2K", you can bet that it's done in millikelvin temperatures."
20c would be great and 77k is *sort* of useable (Liquid Nitrogen being one of the cheapest bulk cryogens) if a data centre had a *really* desperate need for this kind of stuff.
Below that this is staying firmly in a research lab for the foreseeable future.
How is this a qubit?
There's no mention of any ability to have it in a superposition of states, so why isn't this just a single-atom classical bit?
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