ESQ Faculty member Tracy Northup and colleagues provide a roadmap of the current challenges and opportunities for materials science in quantum information processing

In SCIENCE researchers from Austria, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Thailand and the US argue that the time is ripe for expanding the interdisciplinary field of quantum computing by including new collaborations and partnerships with materials science.


Quantum computing began as a fundamentally interdisciplinary effort involving computer science, information science, and quantum physics; the time is now ripe for expanding the field by including new collaborations and partnerships with materials science.

The highly international group of researches provide a comprehensive review of materials issues in each physical platform by describing the evidence that has led to the current understanding of each problem.

For each platform, they present reasons for particular material choices, survey the current understanding of sources of noise and dissipation, describe materials limitations to scaling, and discuss potential new material platforms.

They identify three principal materials research frontiers of interest in this context. First, understanding the microscopic mechanisms that lead to noise, loss, and decoherence is crucial. This would be accelerated by developing high-throughput methods for correlating qubit measurement with direct materials spectroscopy and characterization. Second, relatively few material platforms for solid-state QIP have been explored thus far, and the discovery of a new platform is often serendipitous. It is thus important to develop materials discovery pipelines that exploit directed, rational material searches in concert with high-throughput characterization approaches aimed at rapid screening for properties relevant to QIP. Third, there are several materials issues that do not affect single-qubit operations but appear as limitations in scaling to larger systems.


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801110.

ESQ has received funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF).



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