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Topological Crystalline Insulator Nanowires

Objective

The key challenge in quantum computation is decoherence - the collapse of a quantum state due to local perturbations. In this proposal we address this challenge by developing a new nanomaterials system, which forms the core of a future topological quantum computer. In a topological quantum bit, information is encoded in Majorana modes, which are topologically protected by a local symmetry and therefore have long coherence times.
In this project we develop a new state of matter -topological crystalline insulator nanowires- in which the topology is defined by the band inversion and the crystal symmetry of the material. Therefore, these topological states should be exceptionally robust. Further, we integrate strong superconductors on these nanowires. These two features together should increase the energy scales of the system compared to current state-of-the-art devices, and therefore lead to stable and electrically-isolated Majorana states.
In this project we develop new crystal growth strategies, which enable to grow out-of-thermodynamic equilibrium structures. We will be the first to employ Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) to precisely tune the SnTe nanowire growth conditions. We use the directionality offered by MBE to shadow-grow superconductors on one nanowire facet. The in-situ ultra-high-vacuum growth of hybrid semiconductor/superconductor devices will result in unprecedented device quality.
Due to the increased energy scales, experiments, which have been unattainable so far, come within reach. We use this new materials platform to demonstrate entanglement of two Majorana modes at the ends of a nanowire. This quantum teleportation is a groundbreaking experiment and is the key of a topological quantum computer.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/electrical conductivity/superconductor
  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/computer hardware/quantum computer
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/crystals

Call for proposal

ERC-2018-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-ADG - Advanced Grant

Host institution

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN
Address
Groene Loper 3
5612 AE Eindhoven
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 500 000

Beneficiaries (1)

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 2 500 000
Address
Groene Loper 3
5612 AE Eindhoven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments