Archer Materials Takes a Different Approach to Quantum and Biotechnology

November 19, 2022 by Abdulwaliy Oyekunle

Archer Materials is tackling some of the most complex chips in the industry, from quantum processors to graphene-based labs-on-a-chip.

Australian-based semiconductor company Archer Materials aims to keep innovation rolling in the biosensing industry with its CMOS-based qubit processor and graphene-based lab-on-a-chip.


Archer Materials

Archer Materials believes its quantum processor will help push quantum access beyond cloud and edge technologies to mobile devices. Image used courtesy of Archer Materials


These developments could generate a new wave of chips with increased computational power for artificial intelligence, blockchain, and healthcare management. This article highlights Archer Materials' milestones and how the company's technology may transform the computing industry.


Archer Materials Develops Graphene FETs

In a bid to model disease and monitor human health, biotechnology researchers develop bio-chips, implantable devices, and digitizable biological signals. One useful technology in these applications is graphene field-effect transistors (gFETs), three-terminal devices with a source, drain, back gate, or liquid gate. These devices are sensitive, scalable, and low-power-consuming. They also have a graphene channel that can be exposed to a biological environment. 

Miniaturized gFET bio-arrays with high throughput are used in analyte detection and neural recording. This is because gFETs bio-arrays are more sensitive in analyte detection applications than the conventional electronic sensors used in lab-on-chip devices.  Archer Materials has successfully integrated gFETs with on-chip micro-fluids to simultaneously detect viruses and bacteria in droplet-sized liquid samples.


gFETs Detect Biological Signals in Liquid

Archer Materials recently fabricated a liquid-gated gFET that prevents liquid from shorting the device’s integrated circuit. This technology has allowed the company to develop a biochip called the A1 Biochip, which promises to detect some of the world’s most deadly communicable diseases and aid point-of-care disease management.


 Archer’s liquid-gated gFET

 Archer’s liquid-gated gFET. Image used courtesy of Archer Materials


The gFET is a sensing component in the A1 Biochip that digitizes biological signals from viruses and bacteria. Archer’s CEO, Mohammad Choucair, claims the transistor consists of a single-atom-thick sheet of graphene that acts as an ultrasensitive sensor in the biochip device. The gFET device can then be integrated into advanced microfluidic systems to create a lab-on-a-chip.

With this patented solution, the company hopes to transform the biotechnology industry by enabling a lab-on-chip that not only detects multiple diseases but also makes healthcare cheaper, more efficient, and more accessible.


CMOS Technology Detects Quantum Information

With new research suggesting that spin qubits can be manipulated above cryogenic temperatures, Archer Materials is also developing a qubit processor chip that operates at room temperature. The company integrated CMOS technology with its 12CQ qubit processor chip, yielding a scalable device that detects quantum information. 


High electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology

Archer has previously used high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology to detect quantum information in its 12CQ qubit processor chip. Image used courtesy of Archer Materials


A CMOS-based electron spin resonance detector detects quantum information, while a 12CQ qubit material stores quantum information in the form of electron spin states. Archer Materials worked in collaboration with Swiss technology institute EPFL, which created the CMOS devices, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which manufactured the devices. 

Archer Materials hopes its quantum chip and biochip innovations will open the door to more breakthroughs in quantum research and health management.