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IPFS News Link • Technology: Computer Hardware

An inside look at the world’s newest quantum computing and nanotechnology center

•, John Koetsier
 You need three months of training before they’ll let you into the nanotech clean room where molecular assembly happens.

I’m in the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ontario, which just added a new 283,000-square foot, $160 million research facility to its existing two buildings.

“We work on the science of the small,” executive-in-residence Rob Crow says. “We sit at the junction of pure research and technological innovation.”

The new facility, which will accommodate some of the Institute’s current 200 researchers as well as provide space for an additional 200 over the next year or so, took seven years to build, mostly because it needs to be completely insulated from outside radiation, vibration, and contamination.

As Martin LaForest, a senior manager at IQC explained, vibration — and sound — is the movement of molecules. And molecular-level nanotechnological assembly is tough to do when things are moving.

That is why the Institute has 3 feet-thick concrete floors and a completely isolated foundation that goes down 30 feet underground to bedrock. And why the building took seven years to complete.