Superconduction

Building a nanowire superconducting qubit

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Science  02 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6256, pp. 53-54
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6256.53-b

A major ingredient of a superconducting qubit is a Josephson junction, typically containing an insulator that acts as a bridge (“weak link”) between two superconductors. Larsen et al. and de Lange et al. fabricated superconducting qubits that, instead of an insulator, used a semiconducting nanowire as the weak link. Both groups used InAs nanowires, in one case enclosed in a shell of superconducting Al and in the other contacted by superconducting NbTiN. The researchers controlled the frequency of the qubit—a complex operation in the conventional setup—by simply modulating the carrier concentration of the nanowire with gate voltage. The new architecture may lead to more-scalable quantum computers and address fundamental issues such as the quantum statistics of Majorana fermions.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 127001; 127002 (2015).

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