As classical computers struggle to keep up with Moore’s law, quantum computing may represent a big step in technology and yield significant improvement over classical computing
for many important tasks. Building a quantum computer, however, is a daunting challenge since it requires good control but also good isolation from the environment to minimize decoherence. It is therefore important to realize quantum gates efficiently, using as few operations as possible, to reduce the amount of required control and operation time and thus improve the quantum state coherence. Here we propose a superconducting circuit for implementing a tunable spin chain consisting of a qutrit (three-level system analogous to spin-1) coupled to two qubits (spin-1/2). Our system can efficiently accomplish various quantum information tasks, including generation of entanglement of the two qubits and conditional three-qubit quantum gates, such as the Toffoli and Fredkin gates, which are universal for reversible classical computations. Furthermore, our system realizes a conditional geometric gate which may be used for holonomic (non-adiabatic) quantum computing. The efficiency, robustness and universality of our circuit makes it a promising candidate to serve as a building block for larger spin networks capable of performing involved quantum computational tasks.
An extensively pursued current direction of research in physics aims at the development of practical technologies that exploit the effects of quantum mechanics. As part of this ongoing
effort, devices for information processing, secure communication and high-precision sensing are being implemented with diverse systems, ranging from photons, atoms and spins to mesoscopic superconducting and nanomechanical structures. Their physical properties make some of these systems better suited than others for specific tasks; thus, photons are well suited for transmitting quantum information, weakly interacting spins can serve as long-lived quantum memories, and superconducting elements can rapidly process information encoded in their quantum states. A central goal of the envisaged quantum technologies is to develop devices that can simultaneously perform several of these tasks, namely, reliably store, process, and transmit quantum information. Hybrid quantum systems composed of different physical components with complementary functionalities may provide precisely such multi-tasking capabilities. This article reviews some of the driving theoretical ideas and first experimental realizations of hybrid quantum systems and the opportunities and the challenges they present and offers a glance at the near- and long-term perspectives of this fascinating and rapidly expanding field.