Revolutionary Design for Quantum Gates in Trapped Ions Quantum Computers

July 17, 2023

Researchers Dr. Arghavan Safavi-Naini, Dr. Robert Spreeuw, Dr. Rene Gerritsma and Matteo Mazzanti (Institute of Physics of the University of Amsterdam) have patented a groundbreaking design for quantum gates in trapped ions, resulting in cheaper and simpler quantum computers. Quantum computers can do complex calculations at very high speeds which will be groundbreaking when used in science, and resulting in many applications in all industries from pharmaceutics to finance. A PoC grant from IXA-UvA will enable Safavi-Naini and Mazzanti  to build a prototype and demonstrate the operation of the two-qubit gate.

The quantum computer revolution

Quantum computers have the ability to do complex calculations at very high speeds. The revolution in the high speed processing has the potential to yield ground-breaking results across all industries, for instance in the development in pharmaceutics which requires complex calculations regarding molecules. The development of the quantum computers is a highly competitive field in which scientists worldwide race to perfect the necessary technology.

The architecture of the quantum computer

Logic gates serve as fundamental building blocks in computers, performing logical operations to produce outputs. In conventional computers, data is stored using electronic circuits with transistors that can represent two binary values of 1s and 0s. Logic operations are performed using these transistors to process and manipulate the binary data.

For quantum computers, the storage and processing of data are fundamentally different. Quantum computers utilize quantum bits or qubits, which can exist in superpositions of states, representing both 0 and 1 simultaneously. This property of superposition allows quantum computers to perform parallel computations and potentially offer significantly more computational power compared to classical computers.

The newly patented technology

Multiple approaches are being investigated for creating quantum computers, trapped ions are one of these approaches which made significant progress and are considered to be one of the most promising methods. In trapped ions quantum computers, data is stored and manipulated using the quantum states of trapped ions, which are controlled and manipulated through the application of laser fields. Researchers Dr. Arghavan Safavi-Naini, Dr. Robert Spreeuw, Dr. Rene Gerritsma and Matteo Mazzanti (Institute of Physics of the University of Amsterdam) have proposed a new way of designing quantum gates in trapped-ions quantum computing using the optical Magnus effect. This allows them to halve the number of laser beams needed per gate, resulting in a less complex design of the quantum computer’s.

The invention was extensively modelled and patented in January 2023 with the help of IXA UvA. Now the researchers have been awarded a PoC grant from IXA UvA that will help them to build a prototype to demonstrate the two-qubit gate operation.