Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain
the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in
Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles
Quantum bits (qubits) hold promise for the realization of quantum computers, which will surpass classical computers for specific tasks, such as searching large databases or performing quantum chemical computations. Moving forward, materials optimization will be instrumental to improve the performance and scalability of qubits and enable the realization of practical quantum computers. In this focus issue, our collection of articles explores the materials-related challenges and opportunities for different types of qubits, including superconducting, trapped-ion, spin, germanium and topological qubits. See Qubits meet materials science.
Qubits come in many shapes and forms. Some are better developed, some will make it easier to scale up to big quantum processors and some will require less effort to correct errors. One thing they have in common: they will all benefit from materials optimization.
Superconducting qubits hold great promise for quantum computing, and recently there have been dramatic improvements in both coherence times and the power of quantum processors. This Review explores how the path forward involves balancing circuit complexity and materials perfection, eliminating defects while designing qubits with engineered noise resilience.
Trapped-ion qubits have great potential for quantum computation, but materials improvements are needed. This Review surveys materials opportunities to improve the performance of trapped-ion qubits, from understanding the surface science that leads to electric-field noise to developing methods for building ion traps with integrated optics and electronics.
Defect-based spin qubits offer a versatile platform for creating solid-state quantum devices. This Review is a guide for understanding the properties and applications of current spin defects, and provides a framework for designing, engineering and discovering new qubit candidates
Germanium is a promising material to build quantum components for scalable quantum information processing. This Review examines progress in materials science and devices that has enabled key building blocks for germanium quantum technology, such as hole-spin qubits and superconductor–semiconductor hybrids.
Topological qubits are attractive because of the potential to store quantum information in a topologically protected manner; however, they are challenging to realize. This Review surveys the recent attempts to realize topological qubits out of materials systems that combine superconductivity, spin–orbit coupling and a magnetic field, and surveys both theoretical ideas and experimental results.