Newly developed world's purest silicon will shape the future of quantum computers

The new ultra-pure form of silicon developed by scientists could pave the way for scalable quantum computers. Here are the details of the purest silicon developed so far:
Newly developed world's purest silicon will shape the future of quantum computers

Scientists at the University of Manchester and the University of Melbourne have produced a new ultra-pure form of silicon. This form will enable the construction of high-performance qubit devices, which are the foundation of quantum computing for scalable quantum computers.

Natural silicon works well for traditional computing due to its metalloid properties, but problems can arise when it is used in quantum computing. Specifically, Si-29, one of the atoms making up 5% of natural silicon, causes nuclear spin effects that lead to decoherence and information loss. To address this issue, scientists have developed a new method for engineering silicon that excludes Si-29 and Si-30 atoms.

The new ultra-pure form of silicon will offer cheaper and more scalable quantum computing.

Although ten qubits have the same power as 1,024 bits in a normal computer, they occupy much less space. A fully functioning quantum computer would require about one million qubits, which would provide capabilities that no classical computer can achieve. The world’s purest silicon developed so far could pave the way for the creation of these necessary one million qubits.

purest silicon will shape

Quantum Computer

The project’s co-advisor, Professor David Jamieson from the University of Melbourne, stated about the study, “Our technique paves the way for reliable quantum computers that promise step-by-step changes across society, including artificial intelligence, secure data and communications, and vaccine and drug design.”

Silicon-based qubits are much easier to produce compared to other types of qubits due to existing chip manufacturing methods. Researchers therefore noted that quantum computers using these qubits could scale to the million-qubit range much faster than competing methods.

The next step for the researchers is to demonstrate that quantum coherence can be maintained simultaneously for many qubits, as even very small environmental changes, such as temperature fluctuations, can cause the computer to fail.

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