Ablation loading and qudit measurements with barium ions
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Barium is one of the best ions for performing quantum information in a trapped-ion system. Its long-lived metastable D5/2 state allows for some interesting quantum operations, including the current best state preparation and measurement fidelity in qubits. This metastable state also opens up the possibility of implementing higher-dimensional qudits instead of qubits. However, installing a barium metal source in a vacuum chamber has shown to be somewhat of a challenge. Here, we present a loading technique which uses a barium chloride source instead, making it much easier to install. Laser ablation with a high-energy pulsed laser is used to generate neutral atoms, and a two-step photoionization technique is used to selectively load different isotopes of barium in our ion trap. The process of laser ablation and the plume of atoms it generates are characterized, informing us on how to best load ions. Loading is achieved, and selectivity of our method is demonstrated, giving us a reliable way to load 138Ba+ and 137Ba+ ions. The quadrupole transition into the metastable D5/2 state is investigated, with all of the individual transitions successfully found and characterized for 138Ba+ and 137Ba+. Coherent operations are performed on these transitions, allowing us to use them to define a 13-level qudit, on which we perform a state preparation and measurement experiment. The main error source in operations using this transition is identified to be magnetic field noise, and so we present attempts at mitigating this noise. An ac-line noise compensation method is used, which marginally improved the coherence time of the quadrupole transitions, and an additional method of using permanent magnets is proposed for future work. These efforts will help to make trapping barium more reliable, making it an even more attractive option for trapped ion systems. The state preparation and measurement results using the quadrupole transition to the long-lived metastable D5/2 state establish barium as an interesting platform for performing high-dimensional qudit quantum computing.
Cite this version of the work
Brendan Bramman (2023). Ablation loading and qudit measurements with barium ions. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19821