Doctoral Defense: A Modular Quantum System of Trapped Atomic Ions
Scaling up controlled quantum systems to involve large numbers of qubits remains one of the outstanding challenges of quantum information science. One path toward scalability is the use of a modular architecture where adjacent qubits may be entangled with applied electromagnetic fields, and remote qubits may be entangled using photon interference. Trapped atomic ion qubits are one of the most promising platforms for scaling up quantum systems by combining long coherence times with high fidelity entangling operations between proximal and remote qubits. In this thesis, I present experimental progress on combining entanglement between remote atomic ions separated by ~1 meter with near-field entanglement between atomic ions in the same ion trap. I describe the experimental improvements to increase the remote entanglement rate by orders of magnitude to nearly 5 sec-1. This is the first experimental demonstration where the remote entanglement rate exceeds the decoherence rate of the entangled qubits. The flexibility of creating remote entanglement through photon interference is demonstrated by using the interference of distinguishable photons without sacrificing remote entanglement rate or fidelity. Next I describe the use of master clock in combination with a frequency comb to lock the phases of all laser-induced interactions between remote ion traps while removing optical phase stability requirements. The combination of both types of entanglement gates to create a small quantum network are described. Finally, I present ways to mitigate cross talk between photonic and memory qubits by using different trapped ion species. I show preliminary work on performing state detection of nuclear spin 0 ions by using entanglement between atomic ion spin and photon polarization. These control techniques may be important for building a large-scale modular quantum system.