February 26, 2013

Hole Spin Quantum Dots Brings us closer to new high-speed quantum computers

A new method preserves spin qubits up to ten times longer. Hole spins, rather than electron spins, can keep quantum bits in the same physical state up to 10 times longer than before.

The holes within hole spins, Frolov explained, are literally empty spaces left when electrons are taken out. Using extremely thin filaments called InSb (indium antimonide) nanowires, the researchers created a transistor-like device that could transform the electrons into holes. They then precisely placed one hole in a nanoscale box called “a quantum dot” and controlled the spin of that hole using electric fields. This approach— featuring nanoscale size and a higher density of devices on an electronic chip—is far more advantageous than magnetic control, which has been typically employed until now, said Frolov.

“Our research shows that holes, or empty spaces, can make better spin qubits than electrons for future quantum computers.”

“Spins are the smallest magnets in our universe. Our vision for a quantum computer is to connect thousands of spins, and now we know how to control a single spin,” said Frolov. “In the future, we’d like to scale up this concept to include multiple qubits.”

Nature Nanotechnology - Electrical control of single hole spins in nanowire quantum dots

Arxiv - Electrical control over single hole spins in nanowire quantum dots

ABSTRACT - The development of viable quantum computation devices will require the ability to preserve the coherence of quantum bits (qubits). Single electron spins in semiconductor quantum dots are a versatile platform for quantum information processing, but controlling decoherence remains a considerable challenge. Hole spins in III–V semiconductors have unique properties, such as a strong spin–orbit interaction and weak coupling to nuclear spins, and therefore, have the potential for enhanced spin control and longer coherence times. A weaker hyperfine interaction has previously been reported in self-assembled quantum dots using quantum optics techniques but the development of hole–spin-based electronic devices in conventional III-V heterostructures has been limited by fabrication challenges. Here, we show that gate-tunable hole quantum dots can be formed in InSb nanowires and used to demonstrate Pauli spin blockade and electrical control of single hole spins. The devices are fully tunable between hole and electron quantum dots, which allows the hyperfine interaction strengths, g-factors and spin blockade anisotropies to be compared directly in the two regimes.

9 pages of supplemental information

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