A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, MIT, Northwestern University, The University of Chicago and the University of Glasgow. Have shown in an experiment that changing a surrounding crystal’s structure to be less symmetric may prolong a molecular qubit’s lifetime.

The qubit is shielded from noise by the asymmetry, allowing it to maintain data five times longer than if it were housed in a symmetrical structure. In contrast to the 2-microsecond coherence duration of a molecular qubit in a symmetrical crystal host, the study team was able to attain a coherence time of 10 microseconds or 10 millionths of a second.

This is a major breakthrough due to longer coherence times which makes for more useful qubits in various applications such as long-distance telecommunications, medicine global navigation, astronomy and computing 

This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science National Quantum Information Science Research Centers and the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

You can find out more about the project here