PsiQuantum breakthrough paves the way for dramatic acceleration in electric vehicle battery design

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PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PsiQuantum, the company building the world’s first industrial-scale quantum computer, today announced a new analysis of how electrolyte molecules in lithium-ion (LiB) batteries can be simulated on a fault-tolerant quantum computer, enabling the breakthroughs sought by car manufacturers in the design of next-generation batteries.

Breakthrough information is described in a peer-reviewed technical document titled “Fault-tolerant Resource Estimation for Quantum Chemistry Simulations: A Case Study of Li-ion Battery Electrolyte Molecules‘ that PsiQuantum co-wrote with Mercedes-Benz R&D. The article, published in the journal Physical examination research April 7, 2022, offers a methodical account of how fault-tolerant quantum computing can accelerate battery design, including lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, the most ubiquitous technology for battery design electric vehicle batteries today.

Lithium-ion batteries operate during charge and discharge cycles by moving charge from one electrode to another through an electrolytic material. New and improved electrolytes will have a significant impact on various aspects of battery performance including energy density (efficiency), charging speed, battery life, range, cost and safety .

The development of new Li-ion batteries currently involves a significant amount of trial and error. In principle, this slow and expensive R&D process could be greatly accelerated by simulating and validating new chemistries in silico, as is now the case for applications such as aerodynamics, mechanical design, etc. However, conventional supercomputers struggle to simulate the crucial quantum behavior of the molecules and reactions in question. Quantum computers promise to overcome this constraint.

The PsiQuantum team studied quantum algorithms to simulate the effects of the common electrolyte additive, fluoroethylene carbonate. Their analysis of these electrolyte simulations revealed new optimizations, only apparent at the scale of fault-tolerant quantum computing, that reduced the application’s resource overhead to be more manageable. They also demonstrated the usefulness of a method specific to photonic quantum computing called interleaving (article on arXiv.org), which makes it possible to exchange the time and memory resources of a quantum computer. These breakthroughs mark a significant step towards the goal of efficient chemical simulations on a quantum computer.

“Better batteries are essential for our continued transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable forms of energy transportation and storage,” said Pete Shadbolt, Chief Scientific Officer of PsiQuantum. “We have been able to optimize and improve how a quantum computer can improve the molecular design of batteries by carefully examining the operation of fault-tolerant machines of the future. In light of greater recognition that error correction will be required to run useful quantum algorithms, customers come to us to understand fault-tolerant programming and resource requirements when evaluating potential applications. .

In the paper, the PsiQuantum team evaluated how existing ideas in quantum algorithms can be implemented and optimized for fault-tolerant hardware – a critical and challenging step needed to get a sense of how difficult algorithms. They found that when run on a fault-tolerant quantum computer, these approaches will be able to simulate otherwise impossible electrolyte interactions within hours. PsiQuantum’s research provides a comprehensive analysis of the resources and costs required to run this algorithm for a variety of candidate molecules, including details on how to compile and run this algorithm on the fault-tolerant quantum architecture that PsiQuantum is building.

For more information on the key findings of the Li-ion research paper, read our blog post here.

About PsiQuantum

Powered by breakthroughs in silicon photonics and fault-tolerant quantum architecture, PsiQuantum is building the first utility-scale quantum computer to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. PsiQuantum’s approach is based on photonic qubits, which have significant advantages at the scale required to provide a fault-tolerant general-purpose quantum computer. With quantum chips now manufactured in a world-leading semiconductor fab, PsiQuantum is uniquely positioned to deliver quantum capabilities that will drive advances in climate, health, finance, science and technology. energy, agriculture, transport, communications and beyond. To learn more, visit www.psiquantum.com.

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