Ames Lab named partner with Fermilab in creation of quantum computer prototype

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Ames Laboratory is a key partner in the Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS), led by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and part of the DOE Quantum Science Initiative announced by the White House today

Fermilab has been awarded $115 million over five years for a National Quantum Initiative Center to build a revolutionary quantum computer prototype. Fermilab will partner with Ames Laboratory, Rigetti Computing, Northwestern University, NASA and others on the project. 

Over 80 scientific experts will collaborate in the center, including Matt Kramer, Director of Ames Laboratory’s Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, who will serve as Chief Engineer on the project. 

Ames Laboratory will contribute its materials expertise and advanced microscopy capabilities to help solve one of the most pressing problems in quantum information science: the length of time that a qubit, the basic element of a quantum computer, can maintain information, also known as its quantum coherence. Understanding and mitigating sources of decoherence is critical to engineering next generation quantum computers and sensors. Ames researchers will also be developing quantum-classical algorithms that will take advantage of quantum computing to solve some of the most challenging materials design problems.

“Defects in quantum materials are one of the big obstacles to success in quantum computing,” said Kramer. “Ames Laboratory has a long and highly-regarded reputation in exploring and understanding new materials and how defects alter their behavior, an essential part of tackling this challenge.”

The SQMS at Fermilab is one of five national centers to bring about transformational advances in quantum information science as a part of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative.