Quantum Cryptography

Quantum Information Science Takes a Leap Forward with Atom-by-Atom Qubit Platform Construction


In a groundbreaking development for quantum information science, scientists at the IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience (QNS) at Ewha Womans University, in collaboration with teams from Japan, Spain, and the US, have successfully constructed a unique electron-spin qubit platform atom-by-atom on a surface. Published in the journal Science on October 6, this achievement marks a significant advancement in the field.

Unlike previous quantum devices on surfaces that could only control a single qubit, the researchers at QNS have demonstrated the ability to simultaneously control multiple qubits. This breakthrough paves the way for the application of single-, two-, and three-qubit gates, crucial for quantum computing, sensing, and communication. Soo-hyon Phark, one of the principal investigators at QNS, highlighted the importance of this project, stating, “To date, scientists have only been able to create and control a single qubit on a surface, making this a major step forward towards multi-qubit systems.”

Led by Yujeong Bae, Soo-hyon Phark, and director Andreas Heinrich, the QNS team developed a novel qubit platform composed of individual magnetic atoms positioned on a pristine surface of a thin insulator. The precise placement of these atoms was achieved using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), and they were manipulated through electron spin resonance (ESR-STM). This atomic-scale control enabled researchers to manipulate quantum states coherently and demonstrated the potential for controlling remote qubits. This discovery opens up the possibility of scaling up to tens or even hundreds of qubits in a defect-free environment.

The atomic-scale precision of the qubit platform allows for remote manipulation of individual atoms, thereby enabling qubit operations without having to move the tip of the STM. Yujeong Bae commented on this achievement, saying, “It is truly amazing that we can now control the quantum states of multiple individual atoms on surfaces at the same time.”

This research sets itself apart from other qubit platforms, including photonic devices, ion and atom traps, and superconducting devices. The surface-based electron-spin approach offers distinct advantages, such as a wide range of available spin species and the ability to precisely assemble various two-dimensional geometries.

Looking ahead, the researchers anticipate that these precisely assembled atomic architectures will be instrumental in quantum sensing, computation, and simulation protocols. The work done by the QNS team is expected to revolutionize atomic-scale control in quantum information science and solidify Korea’s position as a global leader in the field. As the possibilities of quantum technology continue to expand, this breakthrough brings us one step closer to unlocking the full potential of quantum computing and its applications.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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