William Tokumaru

Spectroscopic Analysis of Surfaces for Quantum Information Processing with Trapped Ions

One of the most promising ways to create a universal quantum computer is using trapped ions. We confine ions in electromagnetic fields and store quantum information in them by addressing their internal and motional states with lasers. However, electric field noise emanating from the surface causes anomalous heating in these ions, creating noise which impedes quantum processing. One possible source of this is hydrocarbon contamination on the surface. My research will focus on identifying and characterizing the molecular structure of the contamination by probing its molecular bonds using a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic analysis supported by grazing angle polarization modulation (PM) to boost sensitivity, a method which has never been done for this purpose. My research will contribute towards mitigating the unwanted ion motion. Particularly, I will progress the development of a quantum computing platform that will be capable of performing algorithms with reduced rates of decoherence. Furthermore, my results will have applications to numerous other fields relevant to the study of noise near surfaces, including engineering nano and superconducting electronics, detection of Casimir forces in quantum field theory, and tests of general relativity.

Message to Sponsor

This fellowship made possible by the Rose Hills Foundation enables me to afford research over summer in place of work, allowing me to develop my skills as an aspiring researcher. It will allow me to begin my official foray into academia, and to help direct my career planning. For my lab and the field as a whole, it allows us to progress towards understanding the limitations of scalable quantum information processing. Finally, I expect to enjoy myself along the way and help make the world better for everyone.
  • Major: Physics, History (minor)
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: Hartmut Haeffner, Physics