Ion Microchips Enabling Rise of Fully Scalable Quantum Technology Platform

Engineering of microfabricated ion traps and integration of advanced on-chip features

+  Abstract

+  Atomic ions trapped in electromagnetic potentials have long been used for fundamental studies in quantum physics. Over the past two decades, trapped ions have been successfully used to implement technologies such as quantum computing, quantum simulation, atomic clocks, mass spectrometers and quantum sensors.

+  Advanced fabrication techniques, taken from other established or emerging disciplines, are used to create new, reliable ion-trap devices aimed at large-scale integration and compatibility with commercial fabrication. This Technical Review covers the fundamentals of ion trapping before discussing the design of ion traps for the aforementioned applications. We overview the current microfabrication techniques and the various considerations behind the choice of materials and processes. Finally, we discuss current efforts to include advanced, on-chip features in next-generation ion traps.

+  Key points

  • Trapped atomic ions are a highly versatile tool for a wide variety of fields from fundamental physics to quantum technologies.
  • Ion traps use electric and magnetic fields to provide 3D confinement of ions in free space. Ion traps can be fabricated with greater ease by using a surface electrode structure integrated within a microchip.
  • The realization of several quantum technologies that use trapped ions requires the integration of advanced features such as optics and electronics into such a microchip, either within a monolithic structure or through multi-wafer stacking.
  • Development is in progress concerning the integration of multiple features, especially in terms of the compatibility of fabrication processes, chip modularity, functionality and exact specifications of the desired features.

Source:  nature reviews physics.  Romaszko, Z.D., Hong, S., Siegele, M. et al.,  Engineering of microfabricated ion traps and integration of advanced on-chip features…

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