A team of researchers from the University of Grenoble-Alpes in France and the Center for Advanced Technology for Quantum Technology in Finland has developed a thermal valve that can help prevent quantum computers from overheating.
One of the study’s key goals was to show how the amount of heat in a quantum computer can be controlled.
To design a thermal valve that would control heat flow, the researchers placed a gold nanoparticle between two metal contacts, using it as a connection. This nanoparticle is so small that it can be used at one energy level to act as a larger artificial atom with multiple energy levels available.
If you adjust the external parameters correctly, you can make sure that the electrons in one of the contacts pass only through one of the levels of this artificial atom and reach another contact. Thus, a sibling quantum dot acts as a bridge between two metal contacts.
Lo Gullo, one of the researchers
In developing the device, the researchers had to overcome several technical challenges. For example, they needed to develop a locally measuring temperature (and temperature difference) inside a quantum device. As a result, they collected these measurements and thus better understand how heat is regulated inside quantum devices.
In the future, a thermal valve developed by a team of researchers could improve the reliability and safety of quantum devices while reducing the risk of overheating.