In what could be called as a “turning point” in the field of scalable quantum processors, MIT researchers have developed a process to manufacture and integrate “artificial atoms,” which they created by atomic-scale defects in microscopically thin slices of diamond, with photonic circuitry, producing the largest quantum chip of its type.
Millions of quantum processors will be needed to build quantum computers, and the new research demonstrates a viable way to scale up processor production, said Dirk Englund, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Diamond is a solid form of the element ‘Carbon’ with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called Diamond Cubic, and Quantum Computers operate using Quantum Bits, or Qubits. MIT researchers have used these qubits in the new chip from artificial atoms that were made from defects in diamond, which can be prodded with visible light and microwaves to emit photons that carry quantum information.
Defects in diamond’s carbon lattice where adjacent carbon atoms are missing, with their spaces either filled by a different element or left vacant. In the MIT chiplets, the replacement elements are germanium and silicon. Each center functions as an atom-like emitter whose spin states can form a qubit. The artificial atoms emit colored particles of light, or photons, that carry the quantum information represented by the qubit.
With this, Researchers at MIT were able to build a 128-qubit system — the largest integrated artificial atom-photonics chip yet.