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.
Citation: Physical Review Letters
Pub Type: Journals
Atomic spectroscopy, Electric noise, Quantum computation, Quantum information processing, Quantum measurement, Trapped ions