Twitter's hashtag just turned 10, and wouldn't you know it, scientists just worked out a far better use for it - at the nanoscale.
See, it turns out that a criss-cross pattern of semiconducting nanowires is the perfect structure to help manipulate a particular type of quasiparticle into quantum bits.
This nano-hashtag structure at scales of a billionth of a metre should help the quasiparticles, known as Majorana fermions, be more easily formed into a qubit: the building blocks for quantum computers.
Majorana fermions are shown to be far more robust than existing qubit technology, and scientists developing this technology reckon it will lead to a new generation of quantum architecture that will end with a scalable, fault-tolerant universal quantum computer.
This kind of architecture is what Microsoft's Station Q is looking for, and recently announced a multi-year partnership at the University of Sydney. One of the researchers involved with this new research is Dr Maja Cassidy, a senior researcher at Station Q Sydney, which is based at the University of Sydney Nanoscience Hub.
"Networks of nanowires are crucial to demonstrate how Majorana fermions interact through braiding," said Dr Cassidy. "These will be a fundamental building block for topological quantum computation."
Dr Cassidy worked on the research team while she was at TU Delft in the Netherlands. [Nature]
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