As classical information processing has shaped today’s society, technology and economy through advances in computing and communication, harnessing quantum information will lead to fundamentally more powerful devices and even greater impacts.  The power of quantum information lies in the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics, in which the non-classical concepts of superposition, entanglement and quantum parallelism arise.  Not only are quantum algorithms such as Shor’s more powerful than their classical counterparts, quantum information processing (QIP) is the key to bypassing the classical barrier to miniaturization: the emergence of quantum behavior at the nanoscale (atomic) level.  Taking the ideas and concepts of quantum information theory and implementing them in the laboratory is crucial to the development of quantum technologies that will dominate in the 21st century. 

The goal of our experimental program is to significantly impact the science and technology of quantum devices, by developing prototypes and the quantum control techniques necessary for scalable QIP.  Particular focus is on using the particle property of spin to encode quantum information in a robust way.  Realizing spin-based quantum bits (qubits) in solid-state systems offers a technologically attractive path to scalable quantum devices: this approach is reminiscent of (and builds on) the semiconductor electronics industry, and is poised to benefit from cutting edge device technologies now being developed based on novel nanomaterials such as nanowires and carbon nanotubes. We are putting in place a comprehensive research program aimed at addressing the fundamental and technical challenges to realizing quantum building block devices.  This research will expand current scientific knowledge and create new platforms for technological innovation.



Standing in front of the lovely “bell” sculpture that was temporarily on loan from the city of Waterloo, with IQC in the background. From left: J. Fung, M. Zhang, U. Sinha, B. Coish, J. Baugh, J. Mracek.