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  High Fidelity Entanglement in a trapped ion chain


   Department of Physics

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Scaling up quantum technology systems based on laser cooled atoms or ions depends not only on chip-scale components for trapping, but also on accurate means for high-fidelity coherent control. Teams at NPL & Strathclyde have demonstrated entangled systems based on trapped ions and Rydberg atoms respectively. While different, these systems share similar challenges to achieving high fidelity of the requisite processes including coherent control and state readout using optical interrogation techniques. For example, deficiencies in the noise spectrum of lasers for coherent operations lead to infidelities in both systems; yet the techniques to quantify noise contributions, such as those developed by NPL, are common. 

We are seeking to recruit a PhD student to work embedded within the trapped ion team at NPL lead by Dr. Alastair Sinclair. Work on the trapped ion platform will focus on upgrading the NPL ion microtrap system to extend it from strings of two, to up to ten, entangled ions. Use of larger entangled ion strings permits measurement beyond the standard quantum limit, enabling Heisenberg-limited spectroscopy that can outperform equivalent measurements on a string of uncorrelated ions. As well as leading to high impact publications, in future this will enable entanglement-enhanced clock metrology for the development of timing standards offering accuracy beyond current state-of-the-art to achieve high precision at short timescales. By performing a systematic characterisation of the system performance to quantify sources of infidelities, the limits for practical scaling and a roadmap for future development will also be identified.

This work will be undertaken in close collaboration with a student based at Strathclyde developing developing a new dual-species neutral atom platform for quantum computing and simulation, where the independent atomic species can be exploited to perform cross-talk free readout and the first characterisation of interspecies atomic couplings mediated by highly-excited Rydberg states. Across the projects, we will focus on collaborative solutions to common problems to advance the capability and performance of the two platforms to exploit the close synergies and expertise of both research teams.

Students will receive advanced training in quantum technologies provided by both the International Graduate School for Quantum Technologies lead by Strathclyde as well as the Postgraduate Measurement Institute at NPL. 

For more information or to discuss the project, please contact Dr Jonathan Pritchard -


Computer Science (8) Physics (29)

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