In a set of traps, they can move a single Mg+ ion between different points more than 100.000 times without losing its quantum coherence.
Complex quantum circuits may be possible with the capacity to "shuttle" trapped ion qubits between locations in a trap array, making it possible to run simulations that are difficult to perform with static ions.
Now, Deviprasath Palani of the University of Freiburg in Germany and colleagues show how one can transfer between positions in such an array without losing individual ions or changing their quantum properties. Confirming that this conservation took place was vital because ion qubits can only do their quantum work if their electrical coherence is preserved during the shuttle.
The scientists divided the volume of a vacuum chamber into 13 different zones, using precisely positioned electrodes and a microchip device to create a capture array inside the container for their presentation. These 13 positions are spaced a few tens of micrometers apart. The four “active” zones, placed in a pyramid shape within this array, were the sites the team used for the shuttle experiment. By opening and closing the electrical barrier between the sites, the team was able to open and close a "transport channel" through which an ion could pass.
The group demonstrated that the technique was effective for transferring an ion between trap locations. Measurements of the ion reveal that it retains its initial quantum coherence during this shuttle, which requires up to 100.000 trips around the trap.
The researchers note that they are trying to optimize the functionality of their device to maximize the number of trips made by a single ion. They also aim to extend the application of their method to more complex, layered arrays of traps that can more accurately mimic real quantum systems.
📩 29/05/2023 18:40