In an exciting breakthrough, a team of researchers has developed a way to convert a single electron in a fluorine atom into a quantum electron.
This can dramatically increase the performance of a quantum transistor.
The new method, developed at the University of Alberta in Canada, is the first to combine the fluorine and a fluorinated metal to produce a quantum quantum transistors.
“The result is a quantum electronic device that could potentially be used in quantum computing, which is the process of converting a single photon into a digital signal,” said Youssef Sadeq, the first author of a paper describing the work in the journal Nature Communications.
“With the fluorinated atom, the quantum transistor can be used to create quantum gates that control light or matter, and to process information.”
A quantum transistor uses a pair of quantum dots connected to each other via a wire.
The wire is connected to a quantum computer chip, which processes information in a way similar to a conventional computer.
However, this process is more complex and more expensive than a conventional circuit.
In the case of a single-atom-thick crystal, such as a fluorina, the two particles are often too small to make a quantum gate.
This makes it difficult to perform a simple operation, such a switch, by using the same atom, called a single quantum dot.
The problem is that such quantum gates can only operate in a very limited range of quantum states, which are usually determined by the atom’s atomic arrangement.
This limits the usefulness of the device for applications in quantum computers, where the performance depends on the number of quantum bits (qubits) it can store.
“In a traditional transistor, we can just add a second electron and then it becomes a quantum bit,” said Sadequ.
“However, with a fluorino atom, it is more difficult to control the amount of the second electron because there is no way to control how many quantum bits are required to make the switch.”
“We could solve this problem by adding a second quantum dot to the fluorino, but this is too complicated for the quantum computer,” he said.
Instead, the team used a method that requires a tiny amount of energy to create the quantum dot in the first place.
By adding a single hydrogen atom to a fluorination, a tiny quantum dot can be generated in a matter of days.
The researchers used this method to create a quantum transceiver that can be built from fluorine atoms.
The team built a quantum circuit that has the same quantum properties as a conventional transistor, but with an additional quantum dot added.
“It works like a transistor,” said co-author Farid El-Hussein, a doctoral student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
“For example, the transistor is capable of producing the desired output voltage and frequency.
The result is that the transistor can be switched on and off.”
The new quantum transiever, made of a pair and one atom of fluorine, has the ability to generate and store a single qubit, and it can be scaled up to produce multiple qubits.
“This opens up a whole new field for building quantum transducers,” said El-Hanan.
“We have shown that the fluorination method is more efficient than the previous method, but the quantum transistor can also be scaled down to make smaller quantum transceivers.”
The team is currently working on developing a similar device using a fluorinity of 50 per cent.
“At this point, it’s too early to talk about commercial applications, but it is a big step forward,” said Al Jazeera’s Neda Javid.
A device made of fluorinated atoms. “
They will also be very useful for energy-efficient photonics, which could allow you to build quantum devices with very low power consumption, even at the same time as building more powerful quantum computers.”
A device made of fluorinated atoms.
Image credit: The University of Albert Einstein in the US/Habib El-Sadeq