Silicon spin qubits stand out due to their very long coherence times, compatibility with industrial fabrication, and prospect to integrate classical control electronics. To achieve a truly scalable architecture, a coherent mid-range link that moves the electrons between qubit registers has been suggested to solve the signal fan-out problem. Here, we present a blueprint of such a ≈10μm long link, called a spin qubit shuttle, which is based on connecting an array of gates into a small number of sets. To control these sets, only a few voltage control lines are needed and the number of these sets and thus the number of required control signals is independent of the length of this link. We discuss two different operation modes for the spin qubit shuttle: A qubit conveyor, i.e. a potential minimum that smoothly moves laterally, and a bucket brigade, in which the electron is transported through a series of tunnel-coupled quantum dots by adiabatic passage. We find the former approach more promising considering a realistic Si/SiGe device including potential disorder from the charged defects at the Si/SiO2 layer, as well as typical charge noise. Focusing on the qubit transfer fidelity in the conveyor shuttling mode, we discuss in detail motional narrowing, the interplay between orbital and valley excitation and relaxation in presence of g-factors that depend on orbital and valley state of the electron, and effects from spin-hotspots. We find that a transfer fidelity of 99.9 \% is feasible in Si/SiGe at a speed of ∼10\,m/s, if the average valley splitting and its inhomogeneity stay within realistic bounds. Operation at low global magnetic field ≈20\,mT and material engineering towards high valley splitting is favourable for reaching high transfer fidelities.
Out-of-time-ordered correlation functions (OTOCs) play a crucial role in the study of thermalization, entanglement, and quantum chaos, as they quantify the scrambling of quantum information due to complex interactions. As a consequence of their out-of-time-ordered nature, OTOCs are difficult to measure experimentally. Here we propose an OTOC measurement protocol that does not rely on the reversal of time evolution and is easy to implement in a range of experimental settings. The protocol accounts for both pure and mixed initial states, and is applicable to systems that interact with environmental degrees of freedom. We demonstrate the application of our protocol by the characterization of scrambling in a periodically driven spin that exhibits quantum chaos.
Small spin-qubit registers defined by single electrons confined in Si/SiGe quantum dots operate successfully and connecting these would permit scalable quantum computation. Shuttling the qubit carrying electrons between registers is a natural choice for high-fidelity coherent links provided the overhead of control signals stays moderate. Our proof-of-principle demonstrates shuttling of a single electron by a propagating wave-potential in an electrostatically defined 420 nm long Si/SiGe quantum-channel. This conveyor-mode shuttling approach requires independent from its length only four sinusoidal control signals. We discuss the tuning of the signal parameters, detect the smoothness of the electron motion enabling the mapping of potential disorder and observe a high single-electron shuttling fidelity of 99.42 ± 0.02% including a reversal of direction. Our shuttling device can be readily embedded in industrial fabrication of Si/SiGe qubit chips and paves the way to solving the signal-fanout problem for a fully scalable semiconductor quantum-computing architecture.
Semiconductor nanowires with proximity-induced superconductivity are leading contenders for manifesting Majorana fermions in condensed matter. However, unambiguous detection of these quasiparticles is controversial, and one proposed method is to show that the peak in the conductance at zero applied bias is quantized to the value of 2e2/h. This has been reported previously, but only by probing one end of the device. Yet, if peaks come from Majorana modes, they should be observed at both ends simultaneously. Here we fabricate devices that feature tunnel probes on both ends of a nanowire and observe peaks that are close to the quantized value. These peaks evolve with the tunnel barrier strength and magnetic field in a way that is consistent with Majorana zero modes. However, we only find nearly quantized zero-bias peaks localized to one end of the nanowire, while conductance dips are observed for the same parameters at the other end. We also identify delocalized states near zero magnetic field and at higher electron density, which is not in the basic Majorana regime. These results enable us to lay out procedures for assessing the non-locality of subgap wavefunctions and provide a classification of nanowire bound states based on their localization.
Nuclear spins are highly coherent quantum objects. In large ensembles, their control and detection via magnetic resonance is widely exploited, for example, in chemistry, medicine, materials science and mining. Nuclear spins also featured in early proposals for solid-state quantum computers and demonstrations of quantum search and factoring algorithms. Scaling up such concepts requires controlling individual nuclei, which can be detected when coupled to an electron. However, the need to address the nuclei via oscillating magnetic fields complicates their integration in multi-spin nanoscale devices, because the field cannot be localized or screened. Control via electric fields would resolve this problem, but previous methods relied on transducing electric signals into magnetic fields via the electron–nuclear hyperfine interaction, which severely affects nuclear coherence. Here we demonstrate the coherent quantum control of a single 123Sb (spin-7/2) nucleus using localized electric fields produced within a silicon nanoelectronic device. The method exploits an idea proposed in 1961 but not previously realized experimentally with a single nucleus. Our results are quantitatively supported by a microscopic theoretical model that reveals how the purely electrical modulation of the nuclear electric quadrupole interaction results in coherent nuclear spin transitions that are uniquely addressable owing to lattice strain. The spin dephasing time, 0.1 seconds, is orders of magnitude longer than those obtained by methods that require a coupled electron spin to achieve electrical driving. These results show that high-spin quadrupolar nuclei could be deployed as chaotic models, strain sensors and hybrid spin-mechanical quantum systems using all-electrical controls. Integrating electrically controllable nuclei with quantum dots could pave the way to scalable, nuclear- and electron-spin-based quantum computers in silicon that operate without the need for oscillating magnetic fields.
Most classical dynamical systems are chaotic. The trajectories of two identical systems prepared in infinitesimally different initial conditions diverge exponentially with time. Quantum systems, instead, exhibit quasiperiodicity due to their discrete spectrum. Nonetheless, the dynamics of quantum systems whose classical counterparts are chaotic are expected to show some features that resemble chaotic motion. Among the many controversial aspects of the quantum-classical boundary, the emergence of chaos remains among the least experimentally verified. Time-resolved observations of quantum chaotic dynamics are particularly rare, and as yet unachieved in a single particle, where the subtle interplay between chaos and quantum measurement could be explored at its deepest levels. We present here a realistic proposal to construct a chaotic driven top from the nuclear spin of a single donor atom in silicon, in the presence of a nuclear quadrupole interaction. This system is exquisitely measurable and controllable, and possesses extremely long intrinsic quantum coherence times, allowing for the observation of subtle dynamical behavior over extended periods. We show that signatures of chaos are expected to arise for experimentally realizable parameters of the system, allowing the study of the relation between quantum decoherence and classical chaos, and the observation of dynamical tunneling.
Junctions created by coupling two superconductors via a semiconductor nanowire in the presence of high magnetic fields are the basis for the potential detection, fusion, and braiding of Majorana bound states. We study NbTiN/InSb nanowire/NbTiN Josephson junctions and find that the dependence of the critical current on the magnetic field exhibits gate-tunable nodes. This is in contrast with a well-known Fraunhofer effect, under which critical current nodes form a regular pattern with a period fixed by the junction area. Based on a realistic numerical model we conclude that the Zeeman effect induced by the magnetic field and the spin-orbit interaction in the nanowire are insufficient to explain the observed evolution of the Josephson effect. We find the interference between the few occupied one-dimensional modes in the nanowire to be the dominant mechanism responsible for the critical current behavior. We also report a strong suppression of critical currents at finite magnetic fields that should be taken into account when designing circuits based on Majorana bound states.
Topological superconductivity is a state of matter that can host Majorana modes, the building blocks of a topological quantum computer. Many experimental platforms predicted to show such a topological state rely on proximity-induced superconductivity. However, accessing the topological properties requires an induced hard superconducting gap, which is challenging to achieve for most material systems. We have systematically studied how the interface between an InSb semiconductor nanowire and a NbTiN superconductor affects the induced superconducting properties. Step by step, we improve the homogeneity of the interface while ensuring a barrier-free electrical contact to the superconductor and obtain a hard gap in the InSb nanowire. The magnetic field stability of NbTiN allows the InSb nanowire to maintain a hard gap and a supercurrent in the presence of magnetic fields (∼0.5 T), a requirement for topological superconductivity in one-dimensional systems. Our study provides a guideline to induce superconductivity in various experimental platforms such as semiconductor nanowires, two-dimensional electron gases, and topological insulators and holds relevance for topological superconductivity and quantum computation.
When a negatively charged electron meets a positron—its positively charged antiparticle—they annihilate each other in a flash of gamma rays. A Majorana fermion, on the other hand, is a neutral particle, which is its own antiparticle. No sightings of a Majorana have been reported in the elementary particle world, but recently they have been proposed to exist in solid-state systems and suggested to be of interest as a quantum computing platform. Mourik et al. set up a semiconductor nanowire contacted on each end by a normal and a superconducting electrode that revealed evidence of Majorana fermions.