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Researchers Unlock Chip-Based Thermionic Cooling for Quantum Computers

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The greatest temperature is reached on the topmost chip, the one used to process useful calculations.

Refrigerator chips are layered atop one another and joined by tunnel junctions, through which the passing electrical current leads to cooling.

Credit: VTT

Researchers at Finland's VTT Technical Research Center designed a device that could potentially cut cooling costs for dilution-refrigerated quantum computers 10-fold.

The thermionic device discharges heat as electrons, and experiments showed it allowed for a maximum temperature drop of 40%.

The researchers expect to be able to cool electronics to between 1.5 degrees Kelvin (-456.9 degrees Fahrenheit) and 0.1 degrees Kelvin (-459.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which would easily provide sufficient cooling for "absolute-zero" computing.

VTT's Mika Prunnila said, "Our technology could help the industry scale down overall quantum computer system size."

The device also can steer electrons and prevent returning phonons from interacting with and reheating a previously cooled surface.

From Tom's Hardware
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