Centre updates

Australia set to ride quantum computing wave

Researchers have practical plans for building usable quantum computers based on silicon, ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology Director, Professor Michelle Simmons, will tell the Australian Physics Congress in Brisbane on Wednesday.

A key strategy is based on the team’s extraordinary control of individual atoms, which allows the construction and precision placement of atomic-scale devices in silicon. Simmons will also outline CQC2T's approach to scaling up the technology.

Read more about quantum research being presented at the Australian Physics Congress at the Science in Public website.

CQC2T researchers produce world's best quantum clones

A team of CQC2T physicists have produced near-perfect clones of quantum information using a new method to surpass previous cloning limits. It is possible this technique could allow quantum encryption to be implemented with existing fibre optic infrastructure.

A beam of light passing through splitter. Credit: Lee Henderson/UNSW

Lead researcher Professor Ping Koy Lam from the Australian National University said the cloning feat may help to overcome obstacles to secure long distance communications.

“Our clones are higher quality than have ever been made before. We hope this technology could be used to extend the range of communication, and one day lead to impenetrable privacy between two communicating parties,” said Professor Lam.

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CQC2T researchers design atomic-scale MRI machine

A team of CQC2T researchers at the University of Melbourne have designed a quantum molecular microscope to radically miniaturise a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. Capable of imaging the structure of a single bio-molecule, the new system would overcome significant technological challenges and provide an important new tool for biotechnology and drug discovery.

A quantum spin-probe molecular microscope. Credit: Viktor Perunicic

The team propose the use of atomic-sized quantum bits (qubits) normally associated with the development of quantum computers, but here would be employed as highly sensitive quantum sensors to image the individual atoms in a bio-molecule.

The work was published in Nature Communications, and was led by CQC2T Deputy Director Prof Lloyd Hollenberg.

“Our system is specifically designed to use a quantum bit as a nano-MRI machine to image the structure of a single protein molecule in their native hydrated environments,” said Prof Hollenberg.

“In a conventional MRI machine large magnets set up a field gradient in all three directions to create 3D images; in our system we use the natural magnetic properties of a single atomic qubit,” said lead author Mr. Viktor Perunicic, CQC2T PhD researcher at the University of Melbourne.

“The construction of such a quantum MRI machine for single molecule microscopy could revolutionise how we view biological processes at the molecular level,” said Prof Hollenberg.

Read more at the University of Melbourne Newsroom.