The importance of chemistry in next-generation computing and communication has been documented for the first time by a team of Northwestern University academics. They found how to transport quantum information on the nanoscale using quantum teleportation by applying their expertise to the discipline of Quantum Information Science (QIS). Their findings were published in the journal, Nature Chemistry, on September 23, 2019, and have untold potential to influence future research and application.
Quantum teleportation enables the transfer of quantum information from one location to another, as well as more secure delivery of that information via much enhanced encryption.
The subject of QIS research has long been dominated by physicists, and only in the last decade has it attracted the interest and involvement of chemists, who have used their skills to harness the quantum nature of molecules for QIS applications.
“By generating entangled electrons through photochemistry that interact with a third electron in an organic radical, we can teleport information from one end of a molecule to another through electron transfer and ensure that it is moved without compromising, or changing, the information carried.” — Matthew D. Krzyaniak
“We are excited to be able to bring this new knowledge to an increasingly important field of discovery in quantum science,” said Michael R. Wasielewski, Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry who leads the Wasielewski Research Group at Northwestern that obtained the new teleportation result. “These findings are the culmination of nearly a decade of research in molecular design.” Wasielewski is a member of the Executive Committee of the Initiative at Northwestern for Quantum Information Research and Engineering (INQUIRE).
The Wasielewski Group was able to teleport information across a molecule using an electron transfer mechanism, which has never been achieved before. This discovery has implications for computing and communication as well as sensing—such as refining the scale on which a magnetic field can be sensed— where the well-developed tools of synthetic chemistry can tailor a solution to the specific problem.
“This is a first step in showing that chemists can provide ideas and materials for what has up until now been in the realm of physicists,” explained Matthew D. Krzyaniak, research assistant professor at Northwestern and with the Wasielewski Group. “By generating entangled electrons through photochemistry that interact with a third electron in an organic radical, we can teleport information from one end of a molecule to another through electron transfer and ensure that it is moved without compromising, or changing, the information carried.”
The findings also provide a pathway to improve efficiencies in computing worldwide by reducing energy usage, according to Wasielewski, who serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) at Northwestern.
Funding was provided for the research described in the recent Nature Chemistry publication by the US National Science Foundation.
Reference: “Photodriven quantum teleportation of an electron spin state in a covalent donor–acceptor–radical system” by Brandon K. Rugg, Matthew D. Krzyaniak, Brian T. Phelan, Mark A. Ratner, Ryan M. Young and Michael R. Wasielewski, 23 September 2019, Nature Chemistry.