Skip to main content
Media TIp | Argonne National Laboratory

Media Tip: Stretching qubit lifetimes with asymmetrical crystal environments

We thought you might be interested in this story on a new way to extend the lifetime of a qubit — the fundamental unit of quantum information.

As it turns out, when it comes to qubits, there’s stability in asymmetry. Scientists have demonstrated that they can extend the lifetime of a molecular qubit by altering the surrounding crystal’s structure to be less symmetrical.

To be useful, a qubit’s information must last long enough that operations can be performed on it. Achieving long lifetimes is one of the biggest challenges in quantum information science.

The crystal’s asymmetry protects the qubit from noise, enabling it to maintain information for five times longer than if it were housed in a symmetrical structure. The team achieved a coherence time — the time the qubit maintains information — of 10 microseconds, or 10 millionths of a second, compared to the 2-microsecond coherence time of a molecular qubit in a symmetrical crystal host.

Read the full story.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.