Posted in | Quantum Computing

TOCHA Project Aims to Harness Topological Concepts for Lossless Information Flow in Next-Generation Devices

A consortium of nine leading institutions from six European countries is being launched by the European Project “Dissipationless topological channels for information transfer and quantum metrology” (TOCHA).

TOCHA puts forward radically innovative technologies by making most of the distinctive properties of topological matter that could be critical for quantum communication, information processing, and metrology. For the next five years, it is funded with 5 M€ and coordinated by the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), at the UAB.

Scientific developments are bringing people closer to a new generation of devices with such precision and energy requirements that a new inventory of materials with optimized properties is required. The aim of the “Dissipationless topological channels for information transfer and quantum metrology” (TOCHA) Project is to harness topological concepts for the next generation of devices and architectures over which information can flow without any loss.

This initiative, being launched in January 2019 and coordinated by the ICREA Prof. Sergio O. Valenzuela from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2, a center of BIST and CSIC), is supported under the Horizon 2020 EU research and development programme. The Kick-Off meeting for the project is being convened on January 31st and February 1st, 2019 in Barcelona with representatives of all the members of the consortium.

TOCHA will analyze topological protection, a characteristic that offers stability to a system, in nanoscopic structures and novel materials. Its aim is to empower electrons (subatomic particles that have a negative electric charge), phonons (quantum particles that transfer heat or sound), and photons (quantum particles of electromagnetic radiation, such as light) to flow with little or no dissipation and, eventually, crosslink them inside a hybrid platform.

This will render the design of innovative topological phononic/photonic waveguides and the engineering of disruptive heterostructures developed from the combination of ferromagnetic materials and topological insulators. It is very important to overcome this fundamental and technological challenge to be able to advance technologies in fields as wide as information processing, through quantum communication, to metrology. In each of these fields, the information dissipation is a major obstacle that results in, for instance, unacceptable error rates or thermal loads.

A forward stride toward gaining in-depth basic insights into topological systems is required to speed up the progress of these materials from fundamental science to engineering and technology. For this purpose, the TOCHA project intends to make the most of the distinctive properties of emerging materials by means of research that involves using electronic materials, metrology, thermal management, and optics.

The focus of the combined efforts of 11 research units from seven leading European academic institutions, one technology and innovation center, and one enterprise expert in atomistic simulations distributed over six countries will be to advance all levels of the value chain to improve the handling and transport of (quantum) information and metrology for the future generation of advanced devices.

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