Google Research

Accurately computing electronic properties of materials using eigenenergies

arXiv preprint arXiv:2012.00921 (2020)


A promising approach to study quantum materials is to simulate them on an engineered quantum platform. However, achieving the accuracy needed to outperform classical methods has been an outstanding challenge. Here, using superconducting qubits, we provide an experimental blueprint for a programmable and accurate quantum matter simulator and demonstrate how to probe fundamental electronic properties. We illustrate the underlying method by reconstructing the single-particle band-structure of a one-dimensional wire. We demonstrate nearly complete mitigation of decoherence and readout errors and arrive at an accuracy in measuring energy eigenvalues of this wire with an error of ~0.01 radians, whereas typical energy scales are of order 1 radian. Insight into this unprecedented algorithm fidelity is gained by highlighting robust properties of a Fourier transform, including the ability to resolve eigenenergies with a statistical uncertainty of 1e-4 radians. Furthermore, we synthesize magnetic flux and disordered local potentials, two key tenets of a condensed-matter system. When sweeping the magnetic flux, we observe avoided level crossings in the spectrum, a detailed fingerprint of the spatial distribution of local disorder. Combining these methods, we reconstruct electronic properties of the eigenstates where we observe persistent currents and a strong suppression of conductance with added disorder. Our work describes an accurate method for quantum simulation and paves the way to study novel quantum materials with superconducting qubits.

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