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Reduction of trapped-ion anomalous heating by in situ surface plasma cleaning

Published in:
Phys. Rev. A, At. Mol. Opt. Phys., Vol. 92, No. 2, 2015, 020302.

Summary

Anomalous motional heating is a major obstacle to scalable quantum information processing with trapped ions. Although the source of this heating is not yet understood, several previous studies suggest that noise due to surface contaminants is the limiting heating mechanism in some instances. We demonstrate an improvement by a factor of 4 in the room-temperature heating rate of a niobium surface electrode trap by in situ plasma cleaning of the trap surface. This surface treatment was performed with a simple homebuilt coil assembly and commercially available matching network and is considerably gentler than other treatments, such as ion milling or laser cleaning, that have previously been shown to improve ion heating rates. We do not see an improvement in the heating rate when the trap is operated at cryogenic temperatures, pointing to a role of thermally activated surface contaminants in motional heating whose activity may freeze out at low temperatures.
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Summary

Anomalous motional heating is a major obstacle to scalable quantum information processing with trapped ions. Although the source of this heating is not yet understood, several previous studies suggest that noise due to surface contaminants is the limiting heating mechanism in some instances. We demonstrate an improvement by a factor...

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Measurement of ion motional heating rates over a range of trap frequencies and temperatures

Published in:
Phys. Rev. A, At. Mol. Opt. Phys., Vol. 91, No. 4, April 2015, 041402.

Summary

We present measurements of the motional heating rate of a trapped ion at different trap frequencies and temperatures between ~0.6 and 1.5 MHz and ~4 and 295 K. Additionally, we examine the possible effect of adsorbed surface contaminants with boiling points below ~105 degrees C by measuring the ion heating rate before and after locally baking our ion trap chip under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. We compare the heating rates presented here to those calculated from available electric-field noise models. We can tightly constrain a subset of these models based on their expected frequency and temperature scaling interdependence. Discrepancies between the measured results and predicted values point to the need for refinement of theoretical noise models in order to more fully understand the mechanisms behind motional trapped-ion heating.
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Summary

We present measurements of the motional heating rate of a trapped ion at different trap frequencies and temperatures between ~0.6 and 1.5 MHz and ~4 and 295 K. Additionally, we examine the possible effect of adsorbed surface contaminants with boiling points below ~105 degrees C by measuring the ion heating...

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