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Engineering diamonds to unlock computing potential


La Trobe University has formed a partnership to pioneer new diamond fabrication techniques, aiming to accelerate the development of a low-cost, portable alternative to supercomputers. 

As part of the Research Hub for Diamond Quantum Materials, researchers at La Trobe, RMIT University and Australian-German quantum computing hardware company, Quantum Brilliance, will engineer the diamond computer chip that sits at the heart of diamond quantum computers. 

La Trobe pro vice-chancellor (Graduate & Global Research), Professor Chris Pakes, said diamond-based quantum computing is already disrupting digital platforms that underpin a wide range of industries, including science, health and agriculture. 

“Unlike other quantum-based supercomputers sitting in large server-based formats, diamond-based quantum computers are low-cost, portable technologies able to operate at room temperature,” Pakes said. 

“This enables them to be used in a broad range of edge applications, which may not be possible with supercomputers, such as satellites, health environments and manufacturing.” 

Pakes said the partnership will leverage both universities’ expertise in diamond growth, surface imaging and engineering, and combine it with Quantum Brilliance’s industry experience and manufacturing capabilities. 

“All three organisations have world-leading expertise and resources in diamond material sciences – making the hub well placed to develop innovative new approaches to advanced manufacturing in this important future industry,” Pakes said. 

Quantum Brilliance co-founder and chief scientific officer, Marcus Doherty, said the hub is another example of collaborative research efforts advancing diamond-based quantum technology and delivering economic benefit to Australia in the years to come. 

“Through our partnership with La Trobe University and RMIT University, we will develop the fabrication techniques necessary to enhance the performance of diamond-based quantum computers, to deliver real-world solutions to a broad spectrum of industries,” Doherty said. 

The hub is already pursuing several multi-million dollar research projects that are pioneering new diamond fabrication techniques. These Australian-based projects are partially funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Quantum Brilliance.  

The research hub is designed to not only make great strides in developing synthetic diamond accelerators, but to create a network of experts in diamond material science for 0future industry advancements in both countries. 

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