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Will twisted superconducting flakes be a better component for quantum computers?

Credits: US Army RDECOM, CC BY 2.0

Researchers at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom have found a way to create a very thin, defect-free “single crystal flake” device. These devices have the potential to outperform the components currently used in quantum computer circuits.


The study will be published in the journal this month Nano letter.

A team in the university’s physics department discovered it while investigating the junction between the two layers of superconductor niobium diselenate (NbSe).2) After these layers are separated, they are twisted about 30 degrees against each other and then stamped together. Researchers were able to construct a superconducting quantum interferometer device (SQUID) by cleavage, twisting, and recombination of the two layers. This is a very sensitive sensor used to measure very small magnetic fields.

SQUID has a wide range of important applications in areas such as healthcare (as seen in cardiology and magnetoencephalography (tests that map brain function)) and mineral exploration.

SQUIDS is also a component of today’s commercial quantum computers. This is a machine that performs certain computational tasks much faster than traditional computers. Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but over the next decade, it has the potential to transform the problem-solving capabilities of companies and organizations across many sectors, for example by quickly tracking the discovery of new drugs and new materials.

“We believe that crystal flakes may play an important role in the construction of future quantum computers due to their nearly completely flawless, atomically perfect surface,” says Simon, who worked with him.・ Professor Bending said. PhD student Liam Farah. “SQUID is also ideal for biological studies. For example, it is currently used to track the pathways of magnetically labeled drugs through the intestine, so it is very important to be able to develop devices in this area as well. I’m looking forward to it. “

However, as Professor Bending immediately points out, his work on SQUID created using NbSe.2 The flakes are very much at the beginning of the journey. “This is a whole new and unexplored approach to creating SQUID, and we still need to do a lot of research before these applications can be realized,” he said.

Very thin single crystal

The flakes that make up the bass superconductor are very thin single crystals ( Human hairIts flexibility makes it suitable for incorporation into computer keyboards, optical displays, solar cells, and flexible electronics used in a variety of automotive components.

The bond between the layers of NbSe2 Very weak, cleaved flakes have a perfectly flat, flawless surface that, when pushed back again, form an atomically sharp interface. This makes it a good candidate for the components used in. Quantum computing..

This is not the first time, but NbSe2 The layers are stamped together to create a weak superconducting link. This is the first demonstration of quantum interference between two such junctions patterned with a pair of twisted flakes. This quantum interference allowed researchers to apply a small magnetic field to modulate the maximum supercurrent that can flow through SQUID, creating a highly sensitive magnetic field sensor. They were also able to show that the characteristics of the device can be systematically adjusted by varying the helix angle between the two flakes.


Graphene material keyboard


For more information:
Liam S. Farrar et al, Superconducting Quantum Interference in Twisted van der Waals Heterostructures, Nano letter (2021). DOI: 10.1021 / acs.nanolett.1c00152

Provided by
University of Bath

Quote: Will twisted superconducting flakes be a better component for quantum computers? (September 28, 2021) September 28, 2021 Obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-superconducting-flakes-components-quantum.html

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Will twisted superconducting flakes be a better component for quantum computers?

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