Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Evidence for multiple mechanisms underlying surface-electric field noise in ion traps



J. A. Sedlacek, J. Stuart, Daniel Slichter, C. D. Bruzewicz, R. McConnell, J. M. Sage, J. Chiaverini


Energetic ion bombardment, or ion milling, of ion-trap electrode surfaces has previously been shown to reduce electric-field noise, a limit to quantum-logic gate fidelity, generated by the surface. Here, using motional heating of a single trapped strontium ion, we investigate the temperature dependence of this noise above surface-electrode ion traps before and after ex situ argon-ion milling. Making measurements over a trap electrode temperature range of 4 to 295 K in both sputtered niobium and electroplated gold traps, we see a marked change in the functional form of the electric-field-noise scaling after kilo-electronvolt-scale ion milling: power-law behavior in untreated surfaces is transformed to Arrhenius behavior after treatment. This, along with the emergence of material-dependent noise behavior, strongly suggests that different noise mechanisms are at work before and after ion milling. To constrain potential noise mechanisms, we measured the frequency dependence of the electric-field noise, as well as its dependence on ion-electrode distance, for niobium traps both before and after ion milling. These scalings were unchanged by ion milling.
Physical Review A


anomalous heating, electric field noise, ion milling, ion trap


Sedlacek, J. , Stuart, J. , Slichter, D. , Bruzewicz, C. , McConnell, R. , Sage, J. and Chiaverini, J. (2018), Evidence for multiple mechanisms underlying surface-electric field noise in ion traps, Physical Review A, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 26, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021