Silicon is the material and technology platform that underpins the near-totality of the modern information economy. The ability to manufacture billions of nanometer-scale devices on a chip, and selling it for a few dollars, is arguably one of the most significant technological achievements of humankind. In this talk I will provide an overview of what it takes to turn silicon electronic devices into a platform for the second quantum revolution.

At the level of basic science, the reasons why silicon is an excellent platform for quantum devices are almost entirely unrelated to the reasons why it is the chosen platform for classical computer chips. This point will be illustrated by describing how dopant atoms can be used to develop some of the most coherent quantum bits in the solid-state. This being established, however, the extraordinary engineering development underpinning silicon microelectronics will greatly help translating academic research into manufacturable quantum chips. The involvement of the semiconductor industry is already starting to have an impact in the way silicon quantum devices are developed, and further impetus can be expected in the next decade.

Finally, the expansion of semiconductor microelectronics into the quantum realm provides a unique opportunity – and necessity – for modernizing the teaching of electronics engineering. I will discuss the rationale behind the new Bachelor of Quantum Engineering at UNSW, and the way in which it addresses the expected needs of the quantum technology market.

Speaker bio: Andrea Morello is an electrical engineer and a quantum physicist. He is the Scientia Professor of Quantum Engineering at the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at UNSW, and a Program Manager in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T). His research is aimed at building a quantum computer based on single spins in silicon. In addition to the research, Andrea is actively engaged in science outreach and education.

Andrea heads the Quantum Spin Control group at CQC2T. His research is at the forefront of quantum technologies, with the world-first demonstration of single-shot spin readout in silicon, and more recently the first spin quantum bits based on the electron and the nucleus of a single phosphorus atom in silicon. For these achievements, Andrea was awarded the 2011 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, the 2013 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year, the 2013 David Syme Research Prize, the 2014 NSW Science and Engineering Award, the inaugural 2017 R. Landauer & C.H. Bennett Award for Quantum Computing, and the 2017 Pollock Memorial Lectureship of the Royal Society of NSW.

The event is finished.


Feb 09 2021


GMT+1 (Paris)
9:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Feb 09 2021
  • Time: 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm