We caught up with Achint Jain to hear more about this exciting sector

Achint Jain interview

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The future begins where it all collides

We caught up with Achint Jain, Senior Device Processing Scientist, Silicon Quantum Computing at an event at the Quantum Terminal in Central Station to hear more about this exciting sector.

What are you working on and why is it important?

Our team is striving to build the world’s first silicon-based quantum computer that will be both usable and scalable. Quantum technologies hold the promise to fundamentally change the way we presently store, process, and communicate information. This will have a tremendous impact in diverse areas ranging from new materials discovery and drug development to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and financial services [1]. However, to enable such applications in practice, scalable and fault tolerant quantum computing hardware is needed, which requires ground-breaking innovation and significant investment in order to reach commercialization. Our team at Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) aims to achieve this milestone using atoms qubits (or quantum bits) in silicon, the same material that powers today’s smartphones and tablets. By placing individual phosphorus atoms in a silicon crystal with atomic precision, we’re engineering qubits literally atom-by-atom with extremely high purity, resulting in record long coherence times and the fastest ( < 1 nanosecond) quantum operations in silicon ever.

Why did you choose to work in the Quantum sector?

Although the quantum sector is still in its infancy, it is growing at a very fast pace and has been projected to become a US$1 trillion industry in the next three decades [1]. There exist several technological challenges that need to be overcome along the way, implying that there is an enormous room for innovation to happen in this space with many surprises yet to come. I’m personally motivated by this potential to make a meaningful impact and by the unprecedented possibilities that lie ahead. Working at SQC in Sydney has enabled me to work at the cutting edge of science and technology and given me a unique opportunity to witness the evolution of a new era of computing. Moreover, since there is so much new knowledge being generated every day in this sector, there is a lot to learn for me which I find quite exciting.

One interesting thing about the sector you work in.

Besides silicon, there are several other quantum computing platforms under development at the moment including superconducting circuits, trapped ions and neutral atoms, photonics, etc. For me, what’s interesting is that it remains to be seen if all platforms that hold the potential to realize a scalable, fault tolerant quantum computer will get there eventually. This race in the quantum industry amongst competing technological platforms for the so-called beyond-NISQ era computing is further accelerating the pace of innovation globally in this already fast-moving sector.

What attracted you to work in Sydney?

I recently moved to Sydney from the US after completing a postdoc at MIT working on integrated photonics, so in fact I’m new to quantum computing. I was fascinated by the opportunity to work with Australian of the Year Prof. Michelle Simmons and the globally unique atomic qubits in silicon that her team at SQC has pioneered. Sydney is a great place to be for someone wishing to enter the quantum sector. The quantum ecosystem in and around Sydney is very active both within the realm of academic research as well as industrial ventures - with a high concentration of researchers involved in quantum R&D and giving birth to several thriving start-ups. Another attraction for me was the vibrant and diverse work culture in Sydney, where one can find people from all over the world flourishing. Ultimately, my move to Sydney was driven by personal reasons because I have family here, so Sydney is like my second home.

For more information about the Quantum Terminal, visit their website.

[1] F. Bova, A. Goldfarb, and R. Melko. Harvard Business Review, July 2021. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2021/07/quantum-computing-is-coming-what-can-it-do

Image credit:
Achint Jain
Senior Device Processing Scientist
Silicon Quantum Computing Pty. Ltd.

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