Quantum-dot breakthroughs

Researchers at the University of Nebraska have patented a process for making self-assembling arrays of quantum dots, nano-sized components, using a simple electrochemical process on an aluminum substrate. The team says their technique produces dots with performance 500 percent better than its closest competitor. They also say they will bring the technique to market in five years and that computers using quantum techniques exploiting superpositioning qbits will start to replace binary computers before the end of the decade. According to one group member, "You could build a quantum computer (with just 1,000 atoms) that has 2 to the 1,000th bits of data, which you could never do with a binary computer, because the number 2 to the 1,000th is larger than the number of atoms in the known universe."

Researchers at the University of Trento in Italy have produced 3 nanometer structures made of only 500 silicon atoms that behave as quantum dots. These nanocrystal devices are capable, in theory at least, of lasing. The elusive goal of silicon lasers would enable the changeover to optoelectronic computing that relies on faster photons rather than comparatively sluggish electrons.

For more on the Nebraska group, read eet.com. For more on the Trento group, see

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