Quantum Computers May Be Going BlueCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: October 30, 2013 07:06AM
There are many materials that have multiple uses you would not expect, such as nitroglycerine which is an explosive and a heart medication. Now, thanks to researchers at University College London, we have discovered that a common blue pigment can also serve as qubits for a quantum computer.
Copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) is used in the British £5 note and is also a low-cost organic semiconductor that can be made into thin films. The researchers have discovered that the electrons in CuPc are able to exist in a superposition for an extraordinarily long time. Superposition is a quantum mechanical phenomenon that allows a particle to exist in multiple, contradictory states at the same time, and is used by qubits, or quantum bits, to store and transmit information in a quantum computer. The longer the qubit can exist in a superposition, the more useful it is for quantum computing purposes, so the longevity of CuPc's superpositions, make it very interesting.
Another interesting property of copper phthalocyanine is that it is easily modified by chemical and physical processes, which means its properties can be altered to fit whatever it is being used for. It could even have some uses for spintronics too, as the spins of its electrons can also be affected.
Source: University College London