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Researchers Preserve Quantum States for More Than Five Seconds

By Argonne National Laboratory

February 3, 2022

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A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago have overcome two common challenges for quantum systems. They were able to read out their qubit on demand and then keep the quantum state intact for over five seconds. Additionally, the researchers' qubits are made from a commonly used material called silicon carbide.

They describe their work in "Five-Second Coherence of a Single Spin with Single-Shot Readout in Silicon Carbide," published in the journal Science Advances.

"It's uncommon to have quantum information preserved on these human timescales," says David Awschalom, senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and Physics at the University of Chicago, and principal investigator of the project. "Five seconds is long enough to send a light speed signal to the moon and back. That's powerful if you're thinking about transmitting information from a qubit to someone via light. That light will still correctly reflect the qubit state even after it has circled the Earth almost 40 times — paving the way to make a distributed quantum Internet."

By creating a qubit system that can be made in common electronics, the researchers hope to open a new avenue for quantum innovation using a technology that is both scalable and cost-effective.

From Argonne National Laboratory
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