Coordinator of the SISPIN project, for 'Silicon Platform for Quantum Spintronics', Marc Sanquer received the Special Jury Prize at the presentation of the trophies of the 5th edition of the Stars of Europe on 4 December 2017. This award ceremony rewards his European commitment.
SISPIN invented the first "quantum bit" or "qubit" in CMOS technology, the standard of the microelectronics industry. It is also the first qubit exploiting a quantum property of an electronic gap (or hole). The researchers managed to produce a compact (30 nanometer), single-hole spin in a silicon CMOS structure and turn it back by applying a voltage to the gate of a control transistor. This result, unimaginable only a few years ago, opens the way to the quantum computer, because it makes it possible to measure a qubit in a device very close to the field effect transistors present in our computers and our mobile phones, as long as they are cooled down to 0.1 K. CMOS technologies then become usable for building quantum functions. Even though, says Sanquer, "nobody knows what the qubit will be for the future quantum processors. Currently the CMOS qubit, which is neither the first nor the best qubit, offers the ideal conditions for CMOS microelectronics, a very mature industry, to apprehend the quantum world. "
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.