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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J009377/1
Title: Hybrid Rotaxanes as Scaleable Two Qubit-Gates for Quantum Information Processing
Principal Investigator: Winpenny, Professor RE
Other Investigators:
McInnes, Professor EJL Collison, Dr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2012 Ends: 31 December 2014 Value (£): 350,923
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Quantum Optics & Information
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
EP/J009806/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Sep 2011 EPSRC Physical Sciences Chemistry - September 2011 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Modern computers work by storing and processing information in "bits". Within a bit the information is stored either as a 0 or 1. The huge computing power we now possess has some limitations. For example, computers are very fast at multiplying numbers together - 2 x 3 x 3 x 5 x 7 x 11 x 17 x 23 x 41 = 111094830. The reverse operation is slow on a modern computer, i.e. if you are given 111094830 a computer would find it difficult working out the factors multiplied together. This operation - factoring large numbers into primes - looks like a mathematical oddity, but is the basis of how information is encrypted in the modern world.

An alternative computer - based on quantum information processing (QIP) - would operate in a very different way, using the strange principles of quantum mechanics. The information would be stored in a "qubit". In contrast to a bit, a qubit stores information as 0, 1 and the superposition of all numbers between 0 and 1. As an analogy: if a bit is like a light switch - either on or off - a qubit is like a dimmer switch, but one which is set at all positions simultaneously. In most cases a quantum computer would have few advantages over a normal computer, however in some cases - and factorising large numbers into primes is one example - then a quantum computer can perform a calculation quickly that is impossibly slow classically.

Some examples have been reported where simple calculations have been performed, but no quantum computer has been reported that could carry out a complex computation. Our proposal is develop molecules that can act as qubits, link then together to form the fundamental units for a computer - a two-qubit gate - and then develop further chemistry that would allow us to prepare devices with these molecular qubits.

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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk