Quantum computers 'near'

Written by Mark Evans

Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen believe that they could be on the verge of making quantum commuting g a reality.

Quantum computing is something of an IT ‘Holy Grail’ giving vast increases in computing capacity and power, and Any company creating a lead in the field will be at a considerable advantage. Microsoft (believed to be working with the Institute) IBM and Google are all known to be working on solutions, along with a raft of academic institutions.

The team at Niels Bohr have studied the possibility of producing qubits from organometallic molecules with a single magnetic ion in each molecule. In these “nanomagnets” there is the particular challenge that random movements in the outside world can interfere with the magnetic ions, so that the quantum information is lost before you can manage to perform calculations with it. Even at ultra-low temperatures just above absolute zero, the system can still be subjected to quantum mechanical disturbances, also known as “tunnelling”.

The researchers have figured out how a combination of chemical synthesis and advanced measurements of energy levels can make very small changes in the form of the molecule, which can suppress the tunnelling. Thus the calculations can be made before the information is lost.