The Awschalom Group discovered that silicon carbide's crystal imperfections can be controlled at a quantum mechanical level. The finding, published in the journal Nature, may put the common semiconductor at the center of a new generation of communication and information technologies.
The group found that the crystal defects of silicon carbide trap electrons in a way that allows their quantum states to be initialized, manipulated and measured. This makes them promising candidates for various photonic, spintronic and quantum information applications that merge quantum degrees of freedom with classical electronic and optical technologies.
On a related note, David Awschalom is interviewed by Alex Knapp of Forbes magazine, and talks about the implications of his work and where it may go next.