Please join us for Ph.D. candidate Marissa Donofrio’s thesis defense.
Abstract: One-dimensional ion chains in rf traps have seen remarkable success in engineering high-fidelity quantum gates and simulating 1D quantum spin systems. A comparable ability to control and probe two-dimensional ion crystals in rf traps would significantly expand the class of systems accessible to quantum simulation.
This thesis describes our lab’s progress in creating programmable, “radial-2D” arrays of trapped Yb-171 ions. First, I will give an overview of the experimental setup and iterations of trap design. Then, I will discuss the creation of radial-2D ion crystals and the characterization of ion positions, structural phases, normal mode frequencies, and effects of rf heating. I will also present independent studies related to challenges faced by trapped ion systems-- optimally cooling to the motional ground state, accurately determining ion temperature, and measuring susceptibility to the presence of ionizing radiation. Finally, I will give an update on recent advances with our new, open-endcap blade trap design, which can confine and resolve large numbers of ions in the radial-2D crystal phase.