Developing Computational Tools for Next-Generation Quantum Devices

From Left to right, Professor Pawel Hawrylak and Adjunct Professor Marek Korkusinski are standing together in front of a white board, upon which various formulas are written in blue and red ink.

Dr. Pawel Hawrylak with Post-doctoral fellow Alain Gran, Adjunct Professor Marek Korkusinski and Quantum Silicon Inc.

Department of Physics

Professor Pawel Hawrylak, a physics researcher at the University of Ottawa, is working closely with Quantum Silicon Inc. (QSi), a quantum computing company based in Edmonton, Alberta.

QSi develops atomic scale, ultra-low-power computing devices that are designed to supplement or replace transistor-based integrated circuits. The company’s current goal is to build field-controlled computing elements that are ultra-low-power and can be used to create atomic-scale computing circuits and devices that are faster and use much less power than current versions.

Together with QSi, Professor Hawrylak and his team are developing a computational tool, known as silicon-QNANO, to simulate dangling bond quantum dots on silicon surfaces. This could allow researchers to design electronic circuits on a silicon surface with atomic precision, resulting in very low power quantum devices that can be seamlessly integrated into existing silicon transistor technology. In these devices, single electrons will move between individual atoms. Today, millions of electrons travel among millions of atoms, losing energy due to atomic vibration. Mitigating the heat generated is one of the most important challenges in microelectronics.  

Quantum technology is growing at a dizzying pace around the world and the application of this technology to silicon is very promising. Professor Hawrylak’s newly established partnership with Quantum Silicon is well-timed. Thanks to an ENGAGE grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Professor Hawrylak and his team have developed a simulation tool for silicon nanostructures with broad potential applications in silicon-based quantum technologies. This discovery will solve a critical problem for QSi and will provide emerging Canadian nanotechnology companies with a valid computational design tool.

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