Single-Atom Control of Arsenic Incorporation in Silicon for High-Yield Artificial Lattice Fabrication

A new fabrication process that could be used to build a quantum computer achieves an almost zero failure rate and has the potential to be scaled up, according to new research from engineers and physicists at UCL. The study, published in Advanced Materials, describes the first successful attempt to reliably position single atoms in an array since the idea was first proposed 25 years ago. The near 100% precision and scalability of the approach raises the possibility of building a quantum computer capable of tackling the world’s most complex problems – though substantial engineering challenges still need to be overcome to realise that ambition.

They used a microscope capable of identifying and manipulating single atoms, similar to the needle on a vinyl record player, to precisely insert arsenic atoms into a silicon crystal. They then repeated this process to build a 2×2 array of single arsenic atoms, ready to become qubits.

Authors: Taylor J. Z. Stock, Oliver Warschkow, Procopios C. Constantinou, David R. Bowler, Steven R. Schofield, Neil J. Curson