Tutorial EM1: Materials Science of Quantum Computing

Sunday, November 27, 2016
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Hynes, Level 2, Room 204


  • Christopher J. K. Richardson, University of Maryland
  • Michael Hatridge, University of Pittsburgh

Quantum computing promises to revolutionize information technology as we know it by changing the physical nature of the fundamental unit of information. However, the physical limitations to creating a quantum computer originate in our ability to manipulate and control the basic materials that comprise quantum computing devices. The tutorial provides an introduction to the relevant applied physics and the related material structures needed to create elementary quantum computing devices. 

Part one of the tutorial focuses on targeted topics of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics as applicable to gate-based fault-tolerant quantum computing including some of the underlying physics of qubits such as:

  • DiVincenzo criteria for quantum computing
  • Representation of quantum states on the Bloch sphere
  • Encoding quantum information onto spin and pseudo-spin states
  • Magnetic resonant spectroscopy as related to qubit manipulation
  • Measurements of lifetime and decoherence

Part two of the tutorial will explore connections to actual material structures, their design, selection criteria, and means of fabrication for existing quantum information devices including:

  • Ion trap qubits
  • Silicon germanium donor qubits
  • Silicon germanium quantum dot qubits
  • Superconducting quantum circuit qubits

For each technology, relationships between decoherence measurements, interactions of the quantum state with materials and defects, and current understanding of the microscopic origins of materials defects will be presented. 

To summarize the field of quantum information devices for use as quantum computing elements, recent records set by the more established devices described above and those demonstrated by emerging devices enabled by defect centers, nanowires, and topological materials will be reviewed.