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Electronic circuit allowing control and coupling of individual charge and spin carriers



The transistor is the basis of information technologies, from supercomputers predicting the weather to portable devices giving almost instantaneous access to the knowledge of humanity. The efficiency of transistors in processing information lies in their arrangement by the millions into integrated circuits, thanks to CMOS technology on silicon (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor), a class of integrated circuits. Used by major manufacturers such as Intel, CMOS technology has brought our society into the information age.

Quantum information, on the other hand, seeks to exploit the unique properties of the infinitely small world to solve complex problems, similar to that of looking for a needle in a haystack. In theory, a quantum computer could solve these problems in minutes, which would take a time equivalent to the age of the universe for a classical computer no matter how powerful.

However, it turns out that the technological locks of the quantum computer are unlocked one by one, following scientific breakthroughs in the manipulation of spin in silicon. The spin is an intrinsically quantum property of the carriers of the electric current in the transistors, the electrons, until now unexploited. The present invention facilitates a second computer revolution using CMOS technology by simplifying information processing in a quantum computer.


Our invention makes it possible to exploit the quantum properties of the spin of electrons, inside CMOS structures similar to transistors, the “CMOS qubit”. Quantum dot spin qubits are a promising platform for quantum information processing. Our invention makes it possible to simplify the implementation and control of spin qubits in a scalable way, using CMOS-compatible technology, thus exploiting the full potential of the semiconductor industry for large-scale integration and manufacturing. . Our invention represents the unit cell in which all the functionalities required for quantum information processing can be integrated. As for transistors, the structures can be arranged in integrated circuits in order to reveal the full potential of quantum computers.

We base our approach on spin qubits rather than superconducting qubits. In our case, a quantum dot structure having a split-gate geometry is provided. The quantum dot is configured to be incorporated into a quantum dot array of a quantum processing unit. Qubits have an individual reservoir, allowing their initialization to one electron and their reading for a large number of qubits. A space between a reservoir accumulation grid and a quantum dot accumulation grid constitutes a tunnel barrier between an electric charge reservoir and a quantum dot well. An electrical potential applied to the grids defines the height, width and charge transfer rate of the tunnel barrier between the well and the reservoir, without the need for a dedicated barrier grid to control the charge transfer rate.



  • Our approach uses spin qubits rather than superconducting qubits:

    • The performance of spin qubits is comparable to that of the best superconducting qubits with the advantage of being able to integrate millions of times more qubits per square centimeter than the superconducting architecture.

    • A quantum state encoded in a spin qubit in isotopically purified silicon can be retained much longer than in a superconducting qubit.

    • Coupling between qubits is much easier for electron spins in quantum dots.

  • Manufacturing process practically identical to the usual technology of CMOS transistors.

    • Does not require expensive heterostructures.

  • Independent control of qubits in a simple way and meeting DiVincenzo's criteria (initialization, manipulations, reading) prerequisites for obtaining a universal quantum computer.

  • Grids made of poly-silicon (the standard in microelectronics) instead of aluminum.


  • Inexpensive technology: Unlike superconducting qubits, this architecture is based on MOS silicon, a technology at the heart of microprocessor foundries.

    • Low cost: Thousands of devices containing hundreds of unit cells can be produced quickly at very low cost.

  • Micro-electronics industry: manufacturing requires no major investment in infrastructure and benefits from industry know-how for the design of integrated circuits.

  • Quantum technologies have the potential to redefine the multi-billion dollar information and communications technology (ICT) industry. More importantly, the impact of quantum information technologies will go far beyond current ICTs.


  • The quantum computer: its potential has not yet been imagined!

  • Solving optimization problems: image recognition, simulation of molecules, error correction, simulation of quantum systems, factorization problems.

  • Cryptography, secure communications.

  • “More than Moore” applications: mono-electronics, quantum cellular automata, biosensors.



  • TRL4

    • First prototype: results published in February 2019:

    • Second prototype: industrial prototype, work started.

  • Technology development

    • Looking for development partners.

    • Technology available for exclusive or non-exclusive license – microelectronics companies.


  • Canadian Patent Application No. 3,027,982 published December 14, 2017.

  • U.S. Patent Application No. 16/094,176 published May 2, 2019.

  • European patent application no. 17809503.0 published on April 17, 2019.


Finding development partners.

Project Director: François Nadeau

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