Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

X Marks The Spot: Ions Coldly Go Through NIST Trap Junction

Date:
April 15, 2009
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Physicists have demonstrated a new ion trap that enables ions to go through an intersection at temperatures ten million times cooler than prior similar trips. The demonstration is a step toward scaling up trap technology to build a large-scale quantum computer using ions.

The NIST X-trap is constructed from a sandwich of two diamond-shaped alumina wafers, visible in the right center of the top photo. The bottom photo shows a close-up of the wafers. Ions are created in the lower left portion of the dark grey channel, which is a trench cut through both wafers. By controlling voltages on the 46 electrodes, the ions can be shuttled along the channels and through the junction—between the two gold-coated bridges that form the X—while remaining much cooler than in previous experiments.
Credit: R.B. Blakestad/NIST

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new ion trap that enables ions to go through an intersection while keeping their cool. Ten million times cooler than in prior similar trips, in fact. The demonstration, is a step toward scaling up trap technology to build a large-scale quantum computer using ions (electrically charged atoms), a potentially powerful machine that could perform certain calculations—such as breaking today’s best data encryption codes—much faster than today’s computers.

Related Articles


NIST’s new trap with a junction solves a key engineering issue for future possible ion-trap quantum computers: how to move ions in a particular quantum mechanical state back and forth between different locations for data storage or logic operations, without heating them up so much that they lose their fragile quantum properties, which are critical to information processing.

The new ion trap, a rectangle roughly 5 by 2 millimeters in outer dimensions, was constructed from laser-machined alumina, with a gold coating to form electrodes. It is more complex than previous NIST ion traps, with 46 electrodes supporting 18 ion trapping zones. Its unique feature is an X-shaped bridge connecting electrodes across a junction between zones. Junctions are required to allow ions to be grouped together efficiently for logic operations. As voltages are applied to different electrodes to move the ions, the electric fields restrain an ion as it moves between trapping zones. The fields created by the X-bridge are required for smooth transport through the junction and to keep ions from popping out at the junction.

NIST scientists transported single beryllium ions through the X-junction more than 1 million times while maintaining the properties critical to information processing with greater than 99.99 percent success. Pairs of ions were transported over 100,000 times. Ion transport through a junction has been reported once before, but the ions in the NIST trap received over 10 million times less heat than the earlier effort. The low heating, achieved through careful control and reductions in electrical noise, minimizes a major source of computation errors and processing slowdowns.

Over the past 15 years, NIST has demonstrated the basic building blocks for a computer based on ion traps, a promising design for a quantum computer. Now, the latest demonstration shows how information might be moved through a quantum processor rapidly and reliably enough for computing. It takes about 20 microseconds to move an ion across the junction and about 50 to 100 microseconds for transport between zones—times compatible with logic operations using ions. The trap design makes large-scale information processing possible while keeping the number of ions in each trap zone relatively small, such that individual ions can be manipulated without unwanted effects.

The work was funded in part by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency and Office of Naval Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R.B. Blakestad, C. Ospelkaus, A.P. VanDevender, J.M. Amini, J. Britton, D. Leibfried, and D.J. Wineland. High fidelity transport of trapped-ion qubits through an X-junction trap array. Physical Review Letters, (in press)

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "X Marks The Spot: Ions Coldly Go Through NIST Trap Junction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408140217.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2009, April 15). X Marks The Spot: Ions Coldly Go Through NIST Trap Junction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408140217.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "X Marks The Spot: Ions Coldly Go Through NIST Trap Junction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408140217.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins