Photonic quantum computing company PsiQuantum, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mitsubishi Chemical, has launched a partnership to design energy-efficient materials on PsiQuantum’s fault-tolerant quantum computer. The joint research project aims to simulate excited states of photochromic molecules — specifically diarylethenes used for energy-efficient photoswitching applications. Photochromic molecules have widespread industrial and residential potential applications, such as the development of smart windows, energy-efficient data storage, solar energy storage, and solar cells.
Since predicting the optical properties of materials requires complex analysis of excited states, standard algorithmic techniques for simulating these molecules often produce qualitatively incorrect results. Per the collaboration, PsiQuantum said, it aims to determine whether high-accuracy estimates of excited state properties are feasible on early-generation fault-tolerant quantum computers.
The project will also allow Mitsubishi Chemical to gain early insights into how and when fault-tolerant quantum computing can be deployed in support of critical, scalable, sustainable materials.
The project is under the umbrella of PSIQuantum’s Qlimate initiative and targets a move toward a low-carbon society. This program seeks to investigate the use of fault-tolerant quantum computing to crack computational problems and accelerate the development of scalable breakthroughs across climate technologies.