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Posted: September 23, 2009
University of Waterloo's Quantum Device Theory group shares in U.S. government grant
(Nanowerk News) The Quantum Device Theory group led by Institute for Quantum Computing faculty member Dr. Frank Wilhelm will be sharing in a multi-institution grant to fund research into advanced materials for superconducting qubits.
The grant, funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), an initiative of the United States government, will benefit experimental groups at Syracuse University, IBM and University of California-Irvine, in addition to the IQC group. The project is a collaborative effort between materials scientists and physicists to investigate how to produce solid materials that are as free from imperfections as possible.
Dr. Wilhelm will receive $100,000 USD a year for up to five years to support his work modeling Josephson junctions – a key component of integrated circuits for quantum computing.
Josephson junctions are composed of two layers of superconducting material separated by a thin layer of an insulator. Dr. Wilhelm’s group works to create very detailed models of imperfections and noise in this insulating layer.
Imperfections in solid materials are a limiting factor for progress in advancing hardware for quantum computation, as they restrict the length of computations that can be performed. By limiting the imperfections, researchers can increase the coherence time of computations.
“Quantum information is very sensitive to noise, and I am glad that we can work with top materials scientists to solve this problem,” Dr. Wilhelm said.