Quantum mechanics will enable powerful applications due to the emergence of new quantum technologies such as the quantum computer. While such a device will likely provide ground breaking commercial and national security applications due to the existence of powerful algorithms, its existence will revolutionize modern day science by allowing true quantum simulations of systems that may be modelled classically only insufficiently due to an in-principle limitation of current computer technology. Recent progress in experiments with trapped single atomic ions shows that it should be possible to build a quantum computer using this technology.
A major challenge is the scaling of already existing technology beyond a token number of quantum bits. This research will address the manipulation of single atoms in complicated arrays as an architecture for a quantum computer and furthermore, will aim to allow for unprecedented motional control of a large number of single atoms inside such arrays. Single atomic ions will be trapped using electric fields, shuttled inside a complicated array of trap electrodes and manipulated using laser beams.
We will develop architectures for the implementation of an ion trap quantum computer by developing nano- and micro-fabricated structures using techniques from micro-electromechanical device engineering. We will develop techniques to retain and control atoms during shuttling operations along complicated paths inside the array and we will develop protocols to control a large number of quantum bits in such arrays. We will also develop optimised ion trap geometries that allow for simple transport of atomic ions in multi-dimensional arrays.
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