Understanding the Tantalizing Benefits of Tantalum for Improved Quantum Processors

Researchers working to improve the performance of superconducting qubits, the foundation of quantum computers, have been experimenting using different base materials in an effort to increase the coherent lifetimes of qubits. The coherence time is a measure of how long a qubit retains quantum information, and thus a primary measure of performance. Recently, scientists discovered that using tantalum in superconducting qubits makes them perform better, but no one has been able to determine why—until now.