There are many groups working on ways of simulating battery chemistry on a quantum computer. It is a difficult problem but one that could have a high payoff as the world converts to electric vehicles and demands more improvements in the batteries capacity to extend the range and reduce the size and weight. Although many of the other groups are trying to see if this can be done with NISQ level computers, PsiQuantum teamed up with Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America to analyze what could be done on a future error-corrected machine. The specific task was to investigate quantum algorithms for simulating effects of the electrolyte additive fluoroethylene carbonate, one of the largest molecules ever considered for quantum computing. The research focus on reducing the resource requirements for such a simulation and finding ways to take advantage of PsiQuantum’s Fusion Based Quantum Computing (FBQC) architecture.
One technique that the team looked at was to use something called Interleaving to trade-off computation time versus hardware resource requirements. Interleaving provides a linear trade-off of space versus time and may point the way to make these types of simulations possible in the future. Still the number of logical qubits required for this simulation ranges in the thousands or tens of thousands so you won’t see this solution any time soon. But it does give some targets for the PsiQuantum hardware team for how big a processor they will need to build to provide a capability that can solve these types of problems.
For additional information about this effort, you can read a news release on the PsiQuantum website here, a blog that describes the approach here, and a technical paper that provide much more detail that was published on Physical Review Research here.
April 14, 2022