Physics & Astronomy ETDs


Boyan Tabakov

Publication Date



Microfabricated segmented surface ion traps are one viable avenue to scalable quantum information processing. At Sandia National Laboratories we design, fabricate, and characterize such traps. Our unique fabrication capabilities allow us to design traps that facilitate tasks beyond quantum information processing. The design and performance of a trap with a target capability of storing hundreds of equally spaced ions on a ring is described. Such a device could aid experimental studies of phenom- ena as diverse as Hawking radiation, quantum phase transitions, and the Aharonov - Bohm effect. The fabricated device is demonstrated to hold a \u223c 400 ion circular crystal, with 9 μm average spacing between ions. The task is accomplished by first characterizing undesired electric fields in the trapping volume and then designing and applying an electric field that substantially reduces the undesired fields. In addition, experimental efforts are described to reduce the motional heating rates in a surface trap by low energy in situ argon plasma treatment that reduces the amount of surface contaminants. The experiment explores the premise that carbonaceous compounds present on the surface contribute to the anomalous heating of secular motion modes in surface traps. This is a research area of fundamental interest to the ion trapping community, as heating adversely affects coherence and thus gate fidelity. The de- vice used provides high optical laser access, substantially reducing scatter from the surface, and thus charging that may lead to excess micromotion. Heating rates for different axial mode frequencies are compared before and after plasma treatment. The presence of a carbon source near the plasma prevents making a conclusion on the observed absence of change in heating rates.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Advisor

Deutsch, Ivan

First Committee Member (Chair)

Stick, Daniel

Second Committee Member

Maunz, Peter

Third Committee Member

Becerra-Chavez, Francisco

Project Sponsors

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), Sandia National Laboratories, National Physical Science Consortium




ion trap, quantum, ion chain

Document Type