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Last Update: 2018-08-23 Source: Research Headlines
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Researchers target quantum breakthroughs
An EU-funded network is carrying out cutting-edge research that could lead to pioneering commercial applications such as ultra-powerful quantum computers, helping to position Europe at the forefront of technological innovation.
© Sergey Tarasov #131189299, 2018 fotolia.com
The SPIN-NANO project aims to achieve breakthroughs in quantum communications, nano-imaging and quantum computing enabling vast volumes of information to be encoded, stored, processed and exchanged by harnessing advances in the development of quantum bits, or qubits.
Electron-based qubits are formed by locking an electron in a tiny semiconductor crystalline structure called a quantum dot that spins the electron until it forms a small permanent magnet. This, in turn, can be manipulated by an external magnetic field and the spin direction used to encode information, potentially at unprecedented scale and speed.
The SPIN-NANO consortium, consisting of academic and industrial partners from across Europe, is building on progress in the development of electrically-controlled spin-qubits achieved by a predecessor EU-funded project called S^3NANO, also coordinated by the University of Sheffield in the UK.
SPIN-NANOs work aims to help advance spin-based solid-state technologies towards commercial applications in quantum computing and communications within the next five to 10 years.
Quantum computers harness the unique properties of quantum mechanics and operate on completely different principles to existing machines, making them particularly well suited to solving extremely complex mathematical problems. Potential applications for the technology include simulating chemical reactions and molecules, ultra-detailed imaging systems and making machine learning and artificial intelligence far more powerful.
SPIN-NANO involves 15 early-stage researchers who are benefitting from extensive training supported by leading experts in nanoscience and nanotechnology from six European countries, as well as an extended program of multinational exchanges and secondments.
SPIN-NANO received funding from the EUs Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme.