2D cooling for quantum processors

2D cooling for quantum processors

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Researchers in Switzerland have created a device that can efficiently convert heat into electrical voltage at ultra-low temperatures for quantum processor.

The 2D quantum cooling system developed at EPFL could help overcome a significant obstacle to the advancement of quantum computing technologies, which require extremely low temperatures. The technology could also be integrated directly into quantum processors.

The quantum cooler developed at the EPFL Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES), led by Andras Kis, consists of a 2D graphene layer combined with indium selenide. This uses the Nernst effect, a complex thermoelectric phenomenon that generates an electrical voltage when a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to an object with a varying temperature. The two-dimensional nature of the lab’s device allows the efficiency of this mechanism to be controlled electrically.

Experiments involved using a laser as a heat source and a specialized dilution refrigerator to reach 100 millikelvin.

The results showed an on/off ratio of 103 and photovoltage measurements reveal a stronger photo-Nernst signal in the graphene/indium selenide heterostructure compared with individual components with a record-high Nernst coefficient of 66.4 μV/K/T at ultralow temperatures and low magnetic fields.

“We are the first to create a device that matches the conversion efficiency of current technologies, but that operates at the low magnetic fields and ultra-low temperatures required for quantum systems. This work is truly a step ahead,” says LANES PhD student Gabriele Pasquale.

“If you think of a laptop in a cold office, the laptop will still heat up as it operates, causing the temperature of the room to increase as well. In quantum computing systems, there is currently no mechanism to prevent this heat from disturbing the qubits. Our device could provide this necessary cooling,” says Pasquale.

Given the high conversion efficiency and the use of potentially manufacturable electronic components, the LANES team also believes their device could already be integrated into existing low-temperature quantum circuits.

“These findings represent a major advancement in nanotechnology and hold promise for developing advanced cooling technologies essential for quantum computing at millikelvin temperatures,” says Pasquale. “We believe this achievement could revolutionize cooling systems for future technologies.”


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