Shrinking qubits for quantum computing with atom-thin materials

Optical micrograph of the team’s superconducting qubit chip that is 1000 times smaller than others made with conventional fabrication techniques. Credit: Abhinandan Antony / Columbia Engineering

For quantum computers to surpass their classical counterparts in speed and capacity, their qubits—which are superconducting circuits that can exist in an infinite combination of binary states—need to be on the same wavelength. Achieving this, however, has come at the cost of size. Whereas the transistors used in classical computers have been shrunk down to nanometer scales, superconducting qubits these days are still measured in millimeters—one millimeter is one million nanometers.

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