General Lab Information

Working toward quantum advantage in computations for high-energy and nuclear physics, chemistry, materials science, condensed matter physics, and other fields.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science has established five National Quantum Information Science (QIS) Research Centers. These centers will accelerate the transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technologies needed to assure continued U.S. leadership in QIS, consistent with the National Quantum Initiative Act. Led by Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage is building the fundamental tools necessary to create scalable, distributed, and fault-tolerant quantum computer systems.

photos of quantum devices

Left to right: heptagon-kagome device; IBM 27-qubit chip; photoluminescence with above-bandgap excitation in layered diamond; and interior of IBM quantum computing system. Credits: (1) Houck, Princeton; (2), (4) IBM; (3) de Leon & Lyon groups, Princeton.

Quantum advantage: when a quantum computer outperforms a classical computer

Quantum computers have the potential to solve scientific and other kinds of problems that would be practically impossible for traditional supercomputers. However, the current generation—called noisy intermediate-scale quantum—suffers from a high error rate because of noise, faults, and loss of quantum coherence. Quantum bits (qubits), the information-storing elements of quantum computers, are very delicate. Vibrations, temperature changes, electromagnetic waves, and other interactions between qubits and the environment or material defects in qubits can cause quantum decoherence. In quantum decoherence, the qubits lose their information, and the calculation cannot be completed.

Through materials, devices, and software co-design efforts, our team will understand and control material properties to extend coherence time, design devices to generate more robust qubits, optimize algorithms to target specific scientific applications, and develop error-correction solutions. To achieve these goals, we will leverage materials characterization facilities at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) and National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), device design and fabrication capabilities in industry and academia, and IBM’s Qiskit open-source framework for writing quantum programs and its Q Prime prototype quantum computer.

photo of NSLS-II


photo of CFN researcher


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photo of worker at glove box in underground laboratory

Shallow Underground Lab

photo of IBM quantum computer

IBM Q Prime

Technical capabilities and facilities for creating scalable, distributed, and fault-tolerant quantum computer systems.

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) and Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) provide materials science expertise in conjunction with a comprehensive suite of materials characterization capabilities including the world’s highest energy and spatial resolution synchrotron beamlines and world-class nanoscale resolution including aberration corrected TEM and scanning probe techniques.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL) provides world-class imaging capabilities and the Shallow Underground Laboratory offers a unique low-background facility for materials and device environmental testing and production.

IBM Q Prime provides world-leading quantum computing prototyping, integration, testing and benchmarking services.

The Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage Team

Ames Laboratory


City College of New York

Columbia University

Harvard University

Howard University

Jefferson Laboratory

Johns Hopkins University

Montana State University

NASA Ames Research Center

Northwestern University

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

University of California-Santa Barbara

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

University of Pittsburgh

University of Washington

Virginia Tech