Quantum chemistry on quantum annealers

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Scott N. Genin, Ilya G. Ryabinkin, Artur F. Izmaylov


Quantum chemistry calculations for small molecules on quantum hardware have been demonstrated to date only on universal-gate quantum computers, not quantum annealers. The latter devices are limited to finding the lowest eigenstate of the Ising Hamiltonian whereas the electronic Hamiltonian could not be mapped to the Ising form without exponential growth of the Ising Hamiltonian with the size of the system [J. Phys. Chem. B 122, 3384 (2018)]. Here we propose a novel mixed discrete-continuous optimization algorithm, which finds the lowest eigenstate of the qubit coupled cluster (QCC) method using a quantum annealer for solving a discrete part of the problem. The QCC method is a potentially exact approach for constructing the electronic wave function in the qubit space. Therefore, our methodology allows for systematically improvable quantum chemistry calculations using quantum annealears. We illustrate capabilities of our approach by calculating QCC ground electronic states for the LiH, H2O, and C6H6 molecules. C6H6 calculations involve 36 qubits and are the largest quantum chemistry calculations made on a quantum annealer (the D-Wave 2000Q system) to date. Our findings opens up a new perspective for use quantum annealers in high-throughput material discovery.

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