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NEW MICROTRAPS IMPROVE CAPTURE OF LASER-COOLED ION.

Tinier is better in the minuscule world of trapped ions, which are used in research on quantum entanglement and quantum computing. The more closely confined the ions, the more precisely they can be manipulated. NIST has developed a method of constructing ion traps using gold-on-ceramic lithographic techniques, which enables smaller, more precise and more complex geometries than standard machining techniques.

The new microtraps have been used to trap and crystallize small numbers of laser-cooled ions. Tightly focused laser beams then drive individual ions into desired quantum states and interrogate their state. One experiment trapped two ions only 5 micrometers (0.0002 inch) apart, with a laser beam illuminating only one ion at a time.

Another experiment shuttled ions along the axis of the trap and separated them by applying pulsed voltages to the trap electrodes. This technique may relax the laser focusing requirements for quantum logic gates and individual ion detection and may lead to trapping more complex arrays of ions by moving ions between accumulators.

For more information, contact Chris Myatt, (303) 497-7295, myatt@boulder.nist.gov.
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Publication:Electro Manufacturing
Date:Oct 1, 1999
Words:178
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