Navigation Links
How the alphabet of data processing is growing: Research team generates flying 'qubits'

The alphabet of data processing could include more elements than the "0" and "1" in future. An international research team has achieved a new kind of bit with single electrons, called quantum bits, or qubits. With them, considerably more than two states can be defined. So far, quantum bits have only existed in relatively large vacuum chambers. The team has now generated them in semiconductors. They have put an effect in practice, which the RUB physicist Prof. Dr. Andreas Wieck had already theoretically predicted 22 years ago. This represents another step along the path to quantum computing. Together with colleagues from Grenoble and Tokyo, Wieck from the Chair of Applied Solid State Physics reports on the results in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Conventional bits

The basic units of today's data processing are the bit states "0" and "1", which differ in their electrical voltage. To encode these states, only the charge of the electrons is crucial. "Electrons also have other properties though" says Wieck, and these are exactly what you need for quantum bits. "The extension from bits to quantum bits can dramatically increase the computational power of computers" says the physicist.

The new bit generation

A quantum bit corresponds to a single electron in a particular state. Together with his colleagues, Wieck used the trajectories of an electron through two closely spaced channels for encoding. In principle, two different states are possible: the electron either moves in the upper channel or in the lower channel which would then only form a binary system again. According to quantum theory, however, a particle can be in several states simultaneously, that is, it can quasi fly through both channels at the same time. These overlapping states can form an extensive alphabet of data processing.

A recipe for qubits

In order to generate quantum bits with different states, the researchers allowed individual electrons to interfere with each other. This works with the so-called Aharonov-Bohm effect: powered by an external voltage, the electrons fly through a semiconducting solid. Within this solid, their trajectory is first forked and then reunited. Thus, each electron flies simultaneously on both possible paths. When the two paths come together again, there is interference, i.e., the two electron waves overlap and quantum bits with different overlapping states are generated.

Controlling electrons on defined paths

Normally, an electron wave moves through a solid body on many different paths at the same time. Due to impurities in the material, it loses its phase information and thus its ability to encode a particular state. To maintain the phase information, the researchers at the RUB grew a high-purity gallium arsenide crystal and used a dual channel proposed by Wieck more than 20 years ago.

How the dual channel works

An electron reaches the fork via two closely spaced channels. These are coupled with each other (tunnel-coupling), so that the electron flies simultaneously on two different paths. The phases of the electron waves are maintained by the coupling. The same dual channel was also used by the team after the electron waves were reunited at the end of the fork. In this way, they produced quantum bits with clear states which are suitable for encoding information. "Unfortunately, not all the electrons take part in this process, so far it's only a few percent" commented Wieck. "Some students in my department are, however, already working on growing crystals with higher electron densities".


Contact: Dr. Andreas Wieck
Ruhr-University Bochum

Related biology technology :

1. Cepheid Receives Grant to Develop Sample Processing and Amplification Methods for Detection of Bloodstream Bacteria
2. Improved Cord Blood Processing Research on BioLife Solutions CryoStor® Published in TRANSFUSION
3. ZyGEM and USAMRIID Sign CRADA for Development of Simplified Sample Processing Solutions for Biothreat Agents
4. Bacterin Reports New Hires and Management Reorganization, Driving Most Active Processing Month in July
5. COPAN Announces Workshop on Automated Specimen Processing, Digital Workup and Reporting in Microbiology During AACC Clinical Lab Expo
6. Avantra Biosciences Announces Significant Reduction In Multiplex Immunoassay Processing Time
7. Dyadic to Present at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
8. Verenium to Speak at the 2011 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
9. Reportlinker Adds Upstream Processing in Biopharmaceuticals - Increasing Use of Low-Cost Disposable Bioreactors to Drive the Upstream Bioprocessing Market
10. Finesse Solutions Introduces New T700 cGMP Upstream Processing Platform Featuring G3 Hardware and Fully Integrated Single-Use Sensors
11. Bioprocessing Facilities 2011 Conference to be held Aug. 8-9 in San Diego
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader in renewable ... Act on Climate Pledge, alongside more than 140 companies from ... Administration to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to climate action and ... Paris climate negotiations. ... . --> BioAmber uses biotechnology to convert ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Mass. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ ... received written notification from The NASDAQ Stock Market ... bid price requirements. The letter noted that as ... HART,s common stock having exceeded $1.00 per share ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Imagine ... Jurassic World: The Exhibition, opening in March 2016 at Melbourne Museum in Melbourne, ... tour including several North American tour dates. The Exhibition is based on Universal ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 TapImmune, Inc. ... of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for ... it will be presenting at the 8 th ... at 2.30 PM PT. Dr. John N. Bonfiglio ... be giving the presentation and will join TapImmune management ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/9/2015)... Nov. 09, 2015 ... of the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics ... --> ) has announced ... Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to ... Markets ( ) has announced the ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security ... 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated to ... period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists for ... – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):