The National Science Foundation has awarded $1,635,591 to scientists from the University of Utah and a collaborator from University of California, Los Angeles, to research one of the biggest hurdles to quantum computing—the quantum logic units, or “qubits,” that carry information. The award is one of 19 Quantum Idea Incubator grants totaling $32 million funded this year as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Quantum Leap, one of NSF’s “10 Big Ideas” that represent bold, long-term research ideas at the cutting-edge of science and engineering.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Potter/University of Utah
Vikram Deshpande, assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy (left) and doctoral candidate Su King Chong (right) stand in Deshpande's lab.
The U-led project, “Quantum Devices with Majorana Fermions in High-Quality Three-Dimensional Topological Insulator Heterostructures,” was funded through an initiative called the Quantum Idea Incubator for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QII – TAQS). QII – TAQS supports interdisciplinary teams that will explore innovative, transformative ideas for quantum science and engineering.
"We are thrilled to receive this award,” said Deshpande. “My group has made recent strides toward high-quality topological insulator heterostructures and understanding the interaction between topological insulator surfaces and with other layered materials. We are now at a stage where our materials platform can start to take advantage of the unique features of these materials. This award brings together a team with the right kind of complementary expertise to really take this work to the next level and make the necessary advances to test the potential of topological insulators for topological quantum computing."