An electrically controllable spin qubit in a semiconductor nanowire

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SOLID members from the Kavli Institute at TU-Delft have shown how spin-orbit interaction provides a way to control spins electrically. A spin–orbit quantum bit (qubit) is electrostatically defined in an indium arsenide nanowire, where the spin–orbit interaction is so strong that spin and motion can no longer be separated. In this regime, the group has realized fast qubit rotations and universal single-qubit control using only electric fields; the qubits are hosted in single-electron quantum dots that are individually addressable. Moreover, coherence is enhanced by dynamically decoupling the qubits from the environment. Semiconductor nanowires offer various advantages for quantum computing: they can serve as one-dimensional templates for scalable qubit registers, and it is possible to vary the material even during wire growth. Such flexibility can be used to design wires with suppressed decoherence and to push semiconductor qubit fidelities towards error correction levels. Furthermore, electrical dots can be integrated with optical dots in p–n junction nanowires. The coherence times achieved were shown to be sufficient for the conversion of an electronic qubit into a photon, which can serve as a flying qubit for long-distance quantum communication.

S. Nadj-Perge, S. M. Frolov, E. P. A. M. Bakkers and L. P. Kouwenhoven
Nature 468, 1084–1087