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Title: Architectures for fault-tolerant quantum computation
Author: O'Gorman, Joe
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 519X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Quantum computing has enormous potential, but this can only be realised if quantum errors can be controlled sufficiently to allow quantum algorithms to be completed reliably. However, quantum-error-corrected logical quantum bits (qubits) which can be said to have achieved meaningful error suppression have not yet been demonstrated. This thesis reports research on several topics related to the challenge of designing fault-tolerant quantum computers. The first topic is a proposal for achieving large-scale error correction with the surface code in a silicon donor based quantum computing architecture. This proposal relaxes some of the stringent requirements in donor placement precision set by previous ideas from the single atom level to the order of 10 nm in some regimes. This is shown by means of numerical simulation of the surface code threshold. The second topic then follows, it is the development of a method for benchmarking and assessing the performance of small error correcting codes in few-qubit systems, introducing a metric called 'integrity' - closely linked to the trace distance -- and a proposal for experiments to demonstrate various stepping stones on the way to 'strictly superior' quantum error correction. Most quantum error correcting codes, including the surface code, do not allow for fault-tolerant universal computation without the addition of extra gadgets. One method of achieving universality is through a process of distilling and then consuming high quality 'magic states'. This process adds additional overhead to quantum computation over and above that incurred by the use of the base level quantum error correction. The latter parts of this thesis report an investigation into how many physical qubits are needed in a `magic state factory' within a surface code quantum computer and introduce a number of techniques to reduce the overhead of leading magic state techniques. It is found that universal quantum computing is achievable with ∼ 16 million qubits if error rates across a device are kept below 10-4. In addition, the thesis introduces improved methods of achieving magic state distillation for unconventional magic states that allow for logical small angle rotations, and show that this can be more efficient than synthesising these operations from the gates provided by traditional magic states.
Supervisor: Benjamin, Simon ; Smith, Jason ; Browne, Dan Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: quantum computing ; surface code ; quantum error correction ; magic states