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Broadening of the drumhead mode spectrum due to in-plane thermal fluctuations of two-dimensional trapped-ion crystals in a Penning trap

Published

Author(s)

Athreya Shankar, Chen Tang, Matthew Affolter, Kevin Gilmore, Daniel H. Dubin, Scott E. Parker, Murray Holland, John Bollinger

Abstract

Two-dimensional crystals of ions stored in Penning traps are a leading platform for quantum simulation and sensing experiments. For small amplitudes, the out-of-plane motion of such crystals, which is exploited for quantum information protocols, can be described by a discrete set of normal modes called the drumhead modes. However, experimental observations of crystals with Doppler cooled and even near ground-state cooled drumhead modes reveal an unresolved drumhead mode spectrum. In this work, we establish in-plane thermal fluctuations in ion positions as a major contributor to the broadening of the drumhead mode spectrum. In the process, we demonstrate how the confining magnetic field leads to unconventional in-plane normal modes whose average potential and kinetic energies are not equal. This property, in turn, has implications for the sampling procedure required to choose the in-plane initial conditions for molecular dynamics simulations. For current operating conditions of the NIST Penning trap, our study suggests that the two-dimensional crystals produced in this trap undergo in-plane potential energy fluctuations in the range of 10 mK. Our study therefore motivates the need for designing improved techniques to cool the in-plane degrees of freedom.
Citation
Physical Review A

Keywords

Drumhead modes, ExB dynamics, Penning trap, quantum simulation, quantum sensing, trapped-ion crystals

Citation

Shankar, A. , Tang, C. , Affolter, M. , Gilmore, K. , Dubin, D. , Parker, S. , Holland, M. and Bollinger, J. (2020), Broadening of the drumhead mode spectrum due to in-plane thermal fluctuations of two-dimensional trapped-ion crystals in a Penning trap, Physical Review A, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=930873 (Accessed August 19, 2022)
Created November 5, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021