An HRL Laboratories, LLC, research team has published a paper in the March issue of MRS Bulletin, a journal of the Materials Research Society, that sits squarely at the intersection of materials science and quantum computing. The paper, “Metamorphic Materials for Quantum Computing,” explores the demands that silicon-germanium (SiGe) quantum dot heterostructures impose on the underlying substrate, the ways in which the metamorphic substrate’s properties impact device performance, and how performance limitations may be overcome.
In their paper, HRL Research Staff Engineers Peter Deelman, Lisa Edge, and Clayton Jackson discuss the requirements to successfully process qubits – the fundamental units of quantum computing – such as unique and energetically distinct basis states, and a noise-free environment. The paper reviews the performance limitations inherent in the use of strain-relaxed, compositionally graded films of SiGe, and suggests that bulk SiGe substrates with Ge mole fractions relevant to quantum computing applications could greatly improve device performance. However, the paper questions the feasibility of such materials, and suggests that, for the foreseeable future, qubits formed from Si/SiGe heterostructures will continue to rely on metamorphic SiGe virtual substrates.
According to lead author Deelman, “Quantum computing is the next frontier of computer science, but its realization will depend upon significant advances in materials science.”
HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California (hrl.com) is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.
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