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High-fidelity laser-free universal control of trapped ion qubits



Raghavendra Srinivas, Emanuel Knill, Robert Sutherland, Alexander T. Kwiatkowski, Hannah M. Knaack, Scott Glancy, David J. Wineland, Shaun C. Burd, Dietrich Leibfried, Andrew C. Wilson, David T. Allcock, Daniel Slichter


Universal control of multiple qubits—the ability to entangle qubits and to perform arbitrary individual qubit operations—is a fundamental resource for quantum computing, simulation and networking. Qubits realized in trapped atomic ions have shown the highest-fidelity two-qubit entangling operations and single-qubit rotations so far. Universal control of trapped ion qubits has been separately demonstrated using tightly focused laser beams or by moving ions with respect to laser beams, but at lower fidelities. Laser-free entangling methods may offer improved scalability by harnessing microwave technology developed for wireless communications, but so far their performance has lagged the best reported laser-based approaches. Here we demonstrate high-fidelity laser-free universal control of two trapped-ion qubits by creating both symmetric and antisymmetric maximally entangled states with fidelities of 1(+0, −0.0017) and 0.9977 (+0.0010, −0.0013), respectively (68 per cent confidence level), corrected for initialization error. We use a scheme based on radiofrequency magnetic field gradients combined with microwave magnetic fields that is robust against multiple sources of decoherence and usable with essentially any trapped ion species. The scheme has the potential to perform simultaneous entangling operations on multiple pairs of ions in a large-scale trapped-ion quantum processor without increasing control signal power or complexity. Combining this technology with low-power laser light delivered via trap-integrated photonics and trap-integrated photon detectors for qubit readout provides an opportunity for scalable, high-fidelity, fully chip-integrated trapped-ion quantum computing.


Trapped ion, quantum computing, entanglement, rf/microwave techniques for quantum information


Srinivas, R. , Knill, E. , Sutherland, R. , Kwiatkowski, A. , Knaack, H. , Glancy, S. , Wineland, D. , Burd, S. , Leibfried, D. , Wilson, A. , Allcock, D. and Slichter, D. (2021), High-fidelity laser-free universal control of trapped ion qubits, Nature, [online],, (Accessed October 26, 2021)
Created September 8, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021