Monday, March 06, 2006

"QUANTUM: Models demystify quantum-dot Babel"

Physicists have been predicting that interactions between quantum dots could prove just as dissipative as electronic communications on silicon chips, for the same reason: the randomness of multiple-electron behavior. But a team at Ohio University asserts that, given the appropriate environmental conditions, communications among arrays of semiconducting quantum dots can be coherent. If the researchers' computer simulations are proved correct though subsequent experiments in the physical realm, the finding could open the door to complex quantum computers built from arrays of quantum dots, according to Ohio University professor Sergio Ulloa. Ulloa and Ohio doctoral candidate Ameenah Al-Ahmadi have worked exclusively with computer simulations, a condition that has let them ignore the extraneous physical factors that Ulloa believes have hidden the essentially coherent nature of quantum-dot interactions. Ulloa is leaving it to others to prove out the prediction with follow-up experiments. A group "here at Ohio University is planning to demonstrate our results experimentally," he said. He added that its results are expected within the next few months. If the simulations prove out, Ulloa said, basic design principles could be disseminated to EEs looking to craft quantum-computer components.