Physics

Spin-Cavity Computing

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Science  16 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6109, pp. 864
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6109.864-b

Today's (very rudimentary) quantum computers come in different guises, each with their own set of pros and cons. A growing trend has been to put two different technologies together in hybrid architectures in order to have the best of both worlds. One of the aims of such initiatives is to realize long-distance coupling between spin qubits (quantum bits based on electron spins) in quantum dots (zero-dimensional semiconductor nanostructures that allow controlled coupling of one or more electrons) via interactions with a superconducting microwave cavity. Petersson et al. made progress toward that goal by coupling a double quantum dot in an InSb nanowire to the electric field of a cavity, taking advantage of the strong spin-orbit interaction of InSb. The coupling was demonstrated by using a pulse sequence to electrically control the spin state, which was then read out in the phase response of the cavity. The estimated spin-cavity coupling is still shy of the strong limit required for two distant spin qubits to communicate; however, it is expected that improving the quality of the cavity and the coherence of the qubit, and/or using a material with stronger spin-orbit interactions, will bring physicists closer to that goal.

Nature 490, 380 (2012).

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