Construction commences on room-temperature quantum device

Wednesday, 17 April, 2019

Construction commences on room-temperature quantum device

Archer Exploration, a Sydney-based advanced materials business, has commenced its maiden quantum technology project, dubbed 12CQ, to build a carbon-based quantum computing device that operates at room temperature.

Representing the next generation of powerful computing, quantum computers consist of a core device (chip) made from materials capable of processing quantum information (qubits) necessary to solve complex calculations. The majority of quantum computers are only able to operate at subzero temperatures, and while other devices use light or special materials which overcome the temperature challenge, these are difficult to integrate into modern electronics.

During his previous employment at the University of Sydney, Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair invented the first material known to overcome both the limitations of subzero operating temperatures and electronic device integration for qubits. The conducting carbon material was able to process qubits at room temperature, with the potential to reduce the commercial barriers to quantum computing and make it globally accessible. The quantum chip incorporating these materials forms the subject of IP that was exclusively licensed from the university by Archer, and the materials are available in Archer’s wholly owned subsidiary, Carbon Allotropes.

Chip prototypes are being built at the Research & Prototype Foundry Core Research Facility at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub by Archer’s Quantum Technology Manager, Dr Martin Fuechsle. Dr Fuechsle is internationally recognised in pioneering quantum device fabrication, having invented the world’s first single-atom transistor and previously worked alongside Professor Michelle Simmons, the 2018 Australian of the Year. He will assemble the atom-scale materials componentry while overcoming technical challenges in controlling, reducing or eliminating the technical risks associated with realising the 16 claims in the patent application.

“I’m excited to announce that we have started building the chip,” said Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair. “12CQ has a simple value proposition — that of realising practical quantum computing. Key components of our commercialisation plan are now in place and we are in a unique position to strengthen quantum computing in Australia. Access to the Research & Prototype Foundry at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub provides us with the specialised world-class infrastructure, facilities, equipment and personnel we need to successfully build this potentially breakthrough quantum computing technology.”

Top image: Archer’s Quantum Technology Manager, Dr Martin Fuechsle, operating the electron-beam lithography instrumentation inside the cleanrooms of the Research & Prototype Foundry at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.

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