The addition of sound waves offers the potential to better manipulate qubit communications within a quantum system, researchers say
University of Oregon physicists have combined light and sound to control electron states in an atom-like system, providing a new tool in efforts to move toward quantum-computing systems.
The work was done on diamond topped with a layer of zinc oxide containing electrical conductors and performed at a temperature of 8 degrees Kelvin (-445.27 Fahrenheit, -265.15 Celsius) — just above absolute zero.
Using sound waves known as surface acoustic waves to change electron states could foster data transfer between quantum bits, the researcher said. The interaction of qubits, as is the case with binary bits in current computing, is seen as vital in building advanced systems.
The research is detailed in a paper placed online April 7 by the journal Physical Review Letters.
“Computer chips in today’s systems are based on electrical circuits,” said Hailin Wang, a professor in the UO Department of Physics and member of the Oregon Center for Optical, Molecular and Quantum Science. “What we have accomplished could lead to a new architecture — a new way — to design a computer chip. Instead of using electrical circuits we incorporate sound waves on a chip, with our eyes on acoustic circuits and also on potential applications in tomorrow’s quantum computers.”