The promise of the “third-gen semi-conductor material”

Florian Kaiser, head of quantum materials group at LIST, will receive 4m euros in funding over five years through the FNR PEARL programme for his project to enhance quantum computing. He shares more on the challenges in the field and its vast potential.

Source : Merkur
Publication date : 03/28/2024


This funding boost aims to scale his team for research on his AQuaTSiC project (short for “Advanced Quantum Technologies with Silicon Carbide”), which aims to enhance quantum computing through silicon carbide, or what Kaiser calls a “third-generation semiconductor material”. Silicon carbide's benefits include high temperature and voltage operation, safety, and bio-compatibility. “What’s very cool about silicon carbide is that Europe is the global market leader,” Kaiser explains. “So European companies—Infineon and STMicroelectronics, also now Bosch coming—have 70% of the global market share, which is crazy.”

The plus side of the material, according to Kaiser, is that it’s purely artificial, yet “there’s no biohazard associated with it… it’s safe for the body.” It’s a purely artificial material that doesn’t naturally occur on Earth, “only on some meteorites”, and it has similar optical properties to diamond. On the other hand, Kaiser admits it’s energy-intensive, requiring extremely high temperatures to heat and produce.

Kaiser plans to expand his team to 10-15, exploring secure quantum communication and industry-compatible processes, with a vision for a 'quantum internet' enabling secure access to quantum computing. What also excites him in the near outlook is “to develop industry-compatible processes… there aren’t many groups that have this on their radar, apart from a company like [US-based] PsiQuantum.”


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