New technologies that exploit quantum behavior for computing and other applications are closer than ever to being realized due to recent advances, according to a review article published this week in the journal Science.
These advances could enable the creation of immensely powerful computers as well as other applications, such as highly sensitive detectors capable of probing biological systems. "We are really excited about the possibilities of new semiconductor materials and new experimental systems that have become available in the last decade," said Jason Petta, one of the authors of the report and an associate professor of physics at Princeton University.
Petta coauthored the article with David Awschalom of the University of Chicago, Lee Basset of the University of California Santa Barbara, Andrew Dzurak of the University of New South Wales and Evelyn Hu of Harvard University.
Two significant breakthroughs are enabling this forward progress, Petta said in an interview. The first is the ability to control quantum units of information, known as quantum bits, at room temperature. Until recently, temperatures near absolute zero were required, but new diamond based materials allow spin qubits to be operated on a table top, at room temperature. Diamond-based sensors could be used to image single molecules, as demonstrated earlier this year by Awschalom and researchers at Stanford University and IBM Research (Science, 2013).
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