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Bermuda - 2D Quantum Systems in Surface-Electrode Traps

Frederick Hakelberg, Philip Kiefer, Matthias Wittemer, Govinda Clos, Ulrich Warring and Tobias Schaetz


   Scaling experimental quantum simulations based on ions might allow addressing intriguing quantum effects in many different fields of physics. Three ions residing in three individual traps are suited to simulate anti-ferromagnetic interactions between three quantum spins. This leads to puzzling effects already within this basic triangular configuration. Classically, only two neighboring spins can be orientated in an anti-ferromagnetic manner. The third spin cannot satisfy both neighbors, and hence, "becomes frustrated". Quantum mechanically, a superposition of all frustrated permutations, an entangled state, arises "naturally", leaving the individual spins undetermined while maximizing their correlations. In the envisioned, two-dimensional array of individually trapped ions, the whole quantum ensemble of spins evolves adiabatically, via a quantum-phase-transition into a tremendously complex, entangled state. The frustration in triangular spin lattices, for example, is suspected to be responsible for high Tc superconductivity and may remain inaccessible by classical approaches.
Bermuda Spin Frustration

Fig, (left): Electron-microscopic images of our novel surface-electrode traps, a basic 2D array micro-fabricated by SNL: Bird’s eye view, the gaps isolating between rf and DC patches (ions and individually controllable interactions are animated). Three ions residing in three individual traps are suited to simulate anti-ferromagnetic interactions between three quantum spins. Classically, only two neighboring spins can be orientated in an anti-ferromagnetic manner while the third spin becomes frustrated. Quantum mechanically, a superposition of all frustrated permutations, an entangled state, arises (in the envisioned, extended array, the whole ensemble of spins evolves adiabatically, via a quantum-phase-transition, into a tremendously complex state).


getting our tools ready...

Two-dimensional surface-electrode trap arrays for scalable quantum simulations. 

First steps are taken:
Bermuda Tools Fig.1
  • micro traps manufactured by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Albuquerque, NM, USA
  • pure rf traps with 30 additional electrodes to control: micro motion compensation, mode frequencies, mode orientation...
  • UHV vacuum chamber at a few 10-11 mbar residual pressure
  • first Mg ions trapped in three distinct trapping potentials: arranged in an equilateral triangle with length 40 um 
  • on-going characterization of trapping conditions; guided by analytic trapping potential calculations 

corresponding publications

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