Japan’s Riken Centre chases potential of spin qubits

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As the quantum computing race hots up, scientists across the world have some common problems.  Successful scale-up and quantum error correction are among the top issues to resolve. Teams across the world are using different approaches to solve the quantum hardware challenges. A Japanese team has made headway with spin qubits.

Seigo Tarucha and five scientists at Japan’s RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS) recently demonstrated “a first step toward extending the capabilities of quantum systems based on spin qubits,” according to a press release earlier this month.

Typically, the quantum hardware challenges stem from the requirement for well-defined and stable qubits and a means to entangle them which can also be controlled or manipulated. Tarucha’s team has managed to entangle more than two silicon-based spin qubits – three to be precise – a result that had evaded physicists so far.

Tarucha’s team “initialized and measured a three-qubit array in silicon with high fidelity. They also combined the three entangled qubits in a single device,” the CEMS shared. A functional three-qubit system is the base level requirement for a large scale quantum computer.

That, however, is close to a decade away even in the Centre’s plans. The immediate goal is to show primitive error correction in this device and subsequently fabricate devices with ten or more qubits. The same process would then be followed up on systems comprising 50-100 qubits.

With over 200 researchers in about 30 groups and teams, CEMS carries out research in three areas: strongly-correlated materials, supramolecular functional chemistry, and quantum information electronics.

Situated in Wako, just outside of Tokyo, in the Japanese prefecture of Saitama, the CEMS is perhaps the only institute globally which combines fundamental research in the three disciplines of physics, chemistry and electronics.

It is part of the Riken scientific research institute spread across seven campuses. Tarucha heads the Quantum Functional System Research Group within CEMS.

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