Computer simulation has been a valuable tool for researchers and developers, allowing them to advance scientific knowledge and develop technologies in a cost-effective and flexible manner. In the emerging field of miniature quantum devices, simulation software will play an even more important role in the design and production stages.

Quantum devices have the potential to revolutionize research by providing insights into the smallest features of the world and addressing significant challenges such as blindness, cancer, and dementia. Quantum simulators differ from traditional computer simulators because they take into account the nanoscale interactions of quantum systems, which exhibit unexpected behavior. By predicting this behavior, quantum simulation software helps researchers understand and consider these differences during the design stage.

A Canadian company called Nanoacademic Technologies Inc. has developed a novel method for simulating quantum devices known as solid-state quantum device simulation. This method can model the properties of semiconductor-based quantum devices across a range of characteristics, without biases towards geometry and materials. With the support of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Collaborative Research and Innovation Program, Nanoacademic has managed to bring its software code to the market faster than expected.

Nanoacademic’s Quantum Technology Computer-Aided Design (QTCAD) software allows for the calculation of various properties in semiconductor-based spin-qubit devices. It also includes a new feature to simulate quasiparticles like holes, providing insights into specific technological advantages for hole-based quantum devices. The company is actively developing additional features and modules that connect QTCAD’s quantum modeling capabilities with its density functional theory codes.

The NRC has played a crucial role in the development and validation of Nanoacademic’s software. They have conducted experiments with the software, communicated the results, and worked closely with the company to verify the data. Through frequent collaboration, the NRC and Nanoacademic have refined QTCAD into a commercially viable version that is now being used by clients in various countries.

The commercialization of QTCAD will have significant implications for academia, industry, and government. In academia, the software will accelerate learning, reduce costs, and train highly skilled personnel. In industry and government, it will streamline the development process and provide safer alternatives to traditional experimentation.

This project is supported by the NRC’s Quantum Sensors Challenge program and Canada’s National Quantum Strategy. It highlights the importance of materials research and development in enabling revolutionary technologies and underscores the need for high-quality engineering tools to design fundamental components and blocks.

Sources: National Research Council of Canada and Quantum Computing Report.