The potential for quantum computers to revolutionize the world of computing is undeniable. One of the key components needed to make an effective quantum computer is a reliable quantum bit, or qubit, that can exist in a simultaneous 0 or 1 state for a sufficiently long period, known as its coherence time.

One promising approach to achieving this is trapping a single electron on a solid neon surface, creating an electron-on-solid-neon qubit. A study led by FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Professor Wei Guo has provided new insight into the quantum state that describes the condition of electrons on such a qubit, offering valuable information that can help engineers in building this innovative technology.

Guo’s team discovered that small bumps on the surface of solid neon in the qubit can naturally bind electrons, leading to the creation of ring-shaped quantum states of these electrons. These quantum states encompass various properties of the electron, such as position, momentum, and other characteristics, before they are measured. When the bumps on the surface reach a certain size, the electron’s transition energy aligns with the energy of microwave photons. This alignment enables controlled manipulation of the electron, a crucial aspect for quantum computing.

According to Guo, this research significantly advances our comprehension of the electron-trapping mechanism on a promising quantum computing platform. It not only clarifies previous experimental observations but also provides essential insights for the design, optimization, and control of electron-on-solid-neon qubits.

Previous work by Guo and collaborators demonstrated the viability of a solid-state single-electron qubit platform using electrons trapped on solid neon. Recent research showed coherence times as long as 0.1 millisecond, which is 100 times longer than typical coherence times of 1 microsecond for conventional semiconductor-based and superconductor-based charge qubits. Coherence time is a crucial factor in determining how long a quantum system can maintain a superposition state, a characteristic that gives quantum computers their unique abilities.

The extended coherence time observed in the electron-on-solid-neon qubit can be attributed to the inertness and purity of solid neon. This qubit system also effectively addresses the issue of liquid surface vibrations, a problem inherent in the more extensively studied electron-on-liquid-helium qubit. The current research provides crucial insights into optimizing the electron-on-solid-neon qubit further.

Designers aim to create qubits that are smooth through most of the solid neon surface but feature bumps of the right size where necessary. This research underscores the critical importance of further studying how different conditions impact neon qubit manufacturing. Factors such as neon injection temperatures and pressure play a significant role in influencing the final qubit product.

The research led by Wei Guo has shed light on the potential of electron-on-solid-neon qubits for quantum computing. By understanding the quantum state of electrons on the qubit and optimizing the system further, we can move closer to realizing the full potential of quantum computing and solving currently unmanageable calculations.


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