Scientists transform everyday materials into conductors for Quantum computers

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Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Los Alamos National Laboratory, publishing in the latest issue of Nature Communications, describe the discovery of a new method that transforms everyday materials like glass into materials scientists can use to make quantum computers. The advance will allow researchers to transform everyday materials into conductors for use in quantum computers. By

“The materials we made are substances that exhibit unique electrical or quantum properties because of their specific atomic shapes or structures,” said Luis A. Jauregui, professor of physics & astronomy at UCI and lead author of the new paper. “Imagine if we could transform glass, typically considered an insulating material, and convert it into efficient conductors akin to copper. That’s what we’ve done.”

The key, Jauregui explained, was applying the right kind of strain to materials at the atomic scale. To do this, the team designed a special apparatus called a “bending station” at the machine shop in the UCI School of Physical Sciences that allowed them to apply large strain to change the atomic structure of a material called hafnium pentatelluride from a “trivial” material into a material fit for a quantum computer. Interesting read!

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