Single-electron devices (SEDs) are promising building blocks for future quantum circuitry. They have several advantages over traditional semiconductor devices, including:
- They can be used to isolate and keep individual electrons in one place to form qubits.
- They can be used to control the flow of individual electrons to transfer quantum information from one place to another on a chip.
- When an interferometry path is formed, they are very sensitive to changes in the electric and magnetic fields, which makes them useful for sensing and measurement applications.
- They can be fabricated at very small sizes, which is important for building high-density circuits.
However, SEDs also have some challenges that need to be addressed before they can be widely used in quantum circuits. These challenges include:
- They are difficult to fabricate reliably.
- They are sensitive to noise, which can limit their performance.
- They require low temperatures to operate, which can make them expensive to use.
Despite these challenges, SEDs are still considered to be promising building blocks for future quantum circuitry. As research continues, these challenges will likely be overcome, and SEDs will become more widely used in quantum computing and other applications.
Here are some specific examples of how SEDs could be used in future quantum circuitry:
- Single-electron quantum dots could be used as building blocks for quantum gates, which are the basic units of computation in quantum computers.
- SEDs could be used to create quantum sensors, which could be used to detect very small changes in physical quantities, such as magnetic fields or electric currents.
- SEDs could be used to create quantum memories, which could store quantum information for long periods of time.
- SEDs could be used to interconnect quantum components on a chip.
SEDs are still in the early stages of development, but they have the potential to revolutionize the way we use electronics. As research continues, SEDs will likely play an increasingly important role in quantum computing, sensing, and memory applications.
NPL is developing evaluation techniques for nano-scale devices capable of capturing and moving electrons one at a time around an electrical circuit. We are now capable of detecting moving electrons and characterising their properties. We are further attempting to perfect the control of individual electrons and evaluate their potential for use in future quantum technologies.
Are you interested in learning more about our quantum capabilities?
Contact a member of NPL's quantum team today to schedule a consultation. We can discuss your specific needs and how our quantum technologies can help you achieve your goals.