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Researchers Advance Topological Superconductors for Quantum Computing

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We are pursuing a new route to create quantum computers using novel materials, said ORNL materials scientist Robert Moore.

From left, Matthew Brahlek, Robert Moore, and Qiangsheng Lu develop topological superconducting materials for quantum computing applications in support of the Quantum Science Center headquartered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Department of Energy

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a new material system that combines a superconductor and a topological insulator with the goal of making more robust qubits.

The combination produced an atomically sharp interface between crystalline thin films with different symmetric arrangements of atoms.

The researchers used molecular beam epitaxy to create a superclean interface between the superconductor and topological insulator, with the synthesis performed under ultrahigh vacuum.

The resulting superconductor, comprised of iron, selenium, and tellurium, was one atomic layer thick.

ORNL's Robert Moore said, "The idea is to make qubits with materials that have more robust quantum mechanical properties. What is important is that we have learned how to control the electronic structure of the topological insulator and the superconductor independently, so that we can tailor the electronic structure at that interface. This had never been done."

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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