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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Twitter Earnings Blow Away Analysts' Predictions

Twitter Earnings Blow Away Analysts' Predictions

Newsy (July 29, 2014) After reporting a strong second quarter in both revenue and active monthly users, Twitter saw a big boost to its shares in after-hours trading. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Facebook Wants You To Download Its Messenger App

Why Facebook Wants You To Download Its Messenger App

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Facebook will start requiring users to download a separate Messenger application if they wish to continue using Facebook for mobile messaging. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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