Computer simulation has long been a valuable tool for researchers and developers, allowing them to advance scientific knowledge and develop technologies in a cost-effective and flexible manner. In the emerging field of miniature quantum devices, simulation software will play an even greater role in the design and production stages. Quantum devices have the potential to revolutionize research by providing insights into the tiniest features of the world and addressing major challenges such as blindness, cancer, and dementia.
Quantum simulators differ from traditional computer simulators as they take into account nanoscale interactions of quantum systems, which exhibit unexpected behavior. By predicting this behavior, quantum simulation software helps researchers understand and consider these differences during the design stage. However, a comprehensive quantum simulation method for solid-state systems has been elusive.
A Canadian company called Nanoacademic Technologies Inc. has developed a novel method for quantum device simulation known as solid-state quantum device simulation. This method can model the properties of semiconductor-based quantum devices across a range of features, while remaining unbiased towards geometry and materials. With support from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Collaborative Science Technology and Innovation Program, Nanoacademic has successfully brought their software code from the lab to the market quicker than anticipated.
Nanoacademic’s Quantum Technology Computer-Aided Design (QTCAD) software allows for the calculation of various properties in semiconductor-based spin-qubit devices. It also includes a new feature for simulating quasiparticles such as holes, offering insight into technological advantages specifically for hole-based quantum devices. The company is actively developing additional features and modules that bridge the quantum modeling capabilities of QTCAD with their density-functional theory codes.
The NRC has played a crucial role in the development and validation of Nanoacademic’s software. They have conducted experiments with the software, communicated the results, and worked closely with the company to verify the data. Through frequent collaboration, the NRC and Nanoacademic have refined QTCAD to a commercially viable version that is now being used by customers in multiple countries.
The commercialization of QTCAD will have significant implications for academia, industry, and government. In academia, the software will expedite learning, reduce costs, and train highly qualified personnel. In industry and government, it will streamline the development process and provide safer alternatives to traditional experimentation.
This project is supported by the NRC’s Quantum Sensors Challenge program and Canada’s National Quantum Strategy. It highlights the importance of materials research and development in enabling revolutionary technologies and underscores the need for high-quality engineering tools for designing fundamental components and building blocks.
Source: The National Research Council of Canada and Quantum Computing Report