First quantum integrated circuit manufactured in Australia at the atomic scale

In a world-first, Australian quantum computing manufacturer, Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC), has announced they have developed a quantum computing chip that integrates all the necessary components found on a classical computer chip but at the atomic scale, making up a functional quantum processor.

This quantum processor was then put to the test by using it to model a small molecule in which each atom has multiple quantum states – something that traditional computers would struggle to do. This opens up the possibility that this quantum processor can be used to model other more complex molecules such as pharmaceuticals, or materials for batteries to give us a better understanding of the way the world works at an atomic level.

“One of the most promising potential uses of quantum technology is to use one quantum system to simulate other quantum systems. In this work, the authors considered a chain of ten quantum dots and used them to emulate the so-called SSH model,” said Dr. Charles Hill, Senior Lecturer In Quantum Computation at The University of Melbourne.

This big step forward has come less than a decade after the team’s 2012 declaration that it had fabricated the world’s first single-atom transistor and has been achieved two years ahead of schedule.

“This is a remarkable piece of engineering,” adds Hill. “The quantum devices used for this demonstration were fabricated with sub-nanometre accuracy. This experiment paves the way for larger and more complex quantum systems to be emulated in the future.”