100-Fold Reduction of Electric-Field Noise in an Ion Trap Cleanded with In Situ Argon-Ion-Beam Bombardment
Dustin A. Hite, Yves Colombe, Andrew C. Wilson, Kenton R. Brown, Ulrich J. Warring, Robert Jordens, John D. Jost, David P. Pappas, Dietrich G. Leibfried, David J. Wineland, Kyle S. McKay
Anomalous heating of trapped atomic ions is a major obstacle to their use as quantum bits in scalable quantum computers. The physical origin of this electric field noise is not fully understood, but experimental evidence suggests that it emanates from the surface of the trap electrodes. In this study, we have investigated the role that adsorbates play by identifying contaminant overlayers, developing an in situ Ar+- beam cleaning procedure, and measuring ion heating rates before and after cleaning the trap electrodes' surfaces. We find a reduction of two orders of magnitude in heating rate after cleaning.