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Quantum computing for the batteries of tomorrow

We’re excited to be leading a consortium with Johnson Matthey and University College London to develop quantum software to address battery materials modelling challenges beyond the capabilities of standard computers.

Batteries are essential for sustainable energy applications such as energy storage and high-performance electric vehicles. Modelling the behaviour of batteries on a quantum-mechanical level is critical to understanding their performance, yet is beyond the capability of our best standard computers. Quantum computers enable direct modelling of quantum-mechanical systems and could solve key problems in battery materials modelling exponentially faster than standard computers, enabling higher-performance and lower-cost batteries. However, there are significant challenges associated with making the theoretical quantum computing algorithms known for modelling quantum systems truly practical and applicable to battery materials.

Announced by InnovateUK as a package of £70 million in UK government investment into quantum technologies, this project brings together a unique team of internationally renowned experts on battery materials modelling and quantum software. Our world’s fastest algorithms for solving key problems in many-body physics simulation, together with our partners’ deep knowledge in commercial and academic computational materials design, will make this an ideal team to determine how quantum computing can be used to help unlock new battery materials for the future.

“Predicting accurately the behaviour of novel energy materials requires the use of methods to describe strongly correlated electronic structure. Working with UCL and Phasecraft, JM will make an important step to realising the use of quantum computers and their algorithms to conduct calculations of unprecedented accuracy. It is vital if we are to achieve the promise of quantum computing that experts from across academia, industry and government work together on programmes such as this Innovate UK feasibility study.” - Dr Glenn Jones, Johnson Matthey