Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel ion trap with optical fiber could link atoms and light in quantum networks

Date:
July 10, 2010
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Physicists have demonstrated an ion trap with a built-in optical fiber that collects light emitted by single ions, allowing quantum information stored in the ions to be measured. The advance could simplify quantum computer design and serve as a step toward swapping information between matter and light in future quantum networks.

This is a diagram of a NIST ion trap that incorporates an optical fiber to collect light emitted by the ions (electrically charged atoms). Individual electrodes used to trap an ion 30 to 50 micrometers above the surface are shown in different colors surrounding a 50-micrometer-wide hole where light is collected and deposited in a fiber attached below.
Credit: A. VanDevender/NIST

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated an ion trap with a built-in optical fiber that collects light emitted by single ions (electrically charged atoms), allowing quantum information stored in the ions to be measured. The advance could simplify quantum computer design and serve as a step toward swapping information between matter and light in future quantum networks.

Related Articles


Described in a forthcoming issue of Physical Review Letters, the new device is a 1-millimeter-square ion trap with a built-in optical fiber. The authors use ions as quantum bits (qubits) to store information in experimental quantum computing, which may someday solve certain problems that are intractable today. An ion can be adjustably positioned 80 to 100 micrometers from an optical fiber, which detects the ion's fluorescence signals indicating the qubit's information content.

"The design is helpful because of the tight coupling between the ion and the fiber, and also because it's small, so you can get a lot of fibers on a chip," says first author Aaron VanDevender, a NIST postdoctoral researcher.

NIST scientists demonstrated the new device using magnesium ions. Light emitted by an ion passes through a hole in an electrode and is collected in the fiber below the electrode surface (see image). By contrast, conventional ion traps use large external lenses typically located 5 centimeters away from the ions -- about 500 times farther than the fiber -- to collect the fluorescence light. Optical fibers may handle large numbers of ions more easily than the bulky optical systems, because multiple fibers may eventually be attached to a single ion trap.

The fiber method currently captures less light than the lens system but is adequate for detecting quantum information because ions are extremely bright, producing millions of photons (individual particles of light) per second, VanDevender says. The authors expect to boost efficiency by shaping the fiber tip and using anti-reflection coating on surfaces. The new trap design is intended as a prototype for eventually pairing single ions with single photons, to make an interface enabling matter qubits to swap information with photon qubits in a quantum computing and communications network. Photons are used as qubits in quantum communications, the most secure method known for ensuring the privacy of a communications channel. In a quantum network, the information encoded in the "spins" of individual ions could be transferred to, for example, electric field orientations of individual photons for transport to other processing regions of the network.

The research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Security Agency, Office of Naval Research, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, and Sandia National Laboratories.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. VanDevender et al. Efficient Fiber Optic Detection of Trapped Ion Fluorescence. Physical Review Letters, 2010; 105 (2): 023001 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.023001

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Novel ion trap with optical fiber could link atoms and light in quantum networks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708111208.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2010, July 10). Novel ion trap with optical fiber could link atoms and light in quantum networks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708111208.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Novel ion trap with optical fiber could link atoms and light in quantum networks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708111208.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary 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