High-throughput electrical measurement of quantum materials and devices

The setup, a cryogenic multiplexer platform, can test and validate multiple chips together in one cool-down at a temperature of 50 mK. Credit: M. Lodari for QuTech

QuTech has demonstrated a new setup for fast turnaround testing and validation of quantum materials and devices. The setup uses ordinary electronic chip components that can operate at extreme cryogenic temperatures, and can be readily integrated in any type of cryostat.

The setup increases the number of wires that can operate at cryogenic temperatures in the cryostat by an order of magnitude, while keeping the same number of wires operating at room temperature. This is an important accomplishment for the electrical measurement of large quantum systems, where a limited number of wires operating at cryogenic temperatures can form an input/output bottleneck. The new cryogenic platform also holds promise for scaling-up quantum technology due to its capacity to test and validate multiple chips together.

The team, in collaboration with Intel, used the cryogenic platform to accelerate the industrial development of “strained-silicon quantum wells”: thin layers of semiconductor silicon stretched and sandwiched between layers of silicon-germanium. The scientists trapped electrons in these quantum wells and then measured the electrical transport properties of these electrons at extreme cryogenic temperatures. 

The investigated material platform showed remarkable properties for making high-quality spin qubits, which form the building blocks for a spin-based quantum computer.

The study has been published in npj Quantum Information.

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