Sometimes you just have to look around. A new analysis of a common blue pigment—it's used in the British five-pound note—found it has some unusual properties that make it a candidate semiconductor for quantum computers.
Researchers from the U.K. and Canada found molecules of copper phthalocyanine are able to hold the superimposed state of a quantum bit for as long as, or longer than, other materials being studied for quantum computers. Unlike ordinary bits, which must take on one of two states—for example, 0 or 1—quantum bits must hold two states at once. If a material is able to hold quantum states long enough, engineers could get them to store and pass on information.