Engineers in Sydney have demonstrated a quantum integrated circuit consisting of only a few atoms. By precisely controlling the quantum state of atoms, this new processor can simulate the structure and characteristics of molecules to release new materials and catalysts. The new quantum circuit was developed by researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a start-up company named Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC).
It basically refers to 10 carbon based quantum dots embedded in silicon, of which 6 metal gates control the flow of electrons in the circuit. The research team said that the significance of this new quantum circuit is that it can be used to study more complex molecules, which may eventually produce new materials, drugs or catalysts. This 10 atom version is just at the limit of the classical computer simulation, so the team’s 20 atom quantum circuit plan will allow simulation of more complex molecules for the first time.