Quantum computing is a new paradigm of computing that promises exponential performance increases for certain tasks as compared to classical computers. Trapped ions have been identified as a favorable medium – trapped ion quantum computers perform operations on singular atoms with precisely aimed laser pulses calibrated to state transitions within the ions’ energy levels. Bulk free space optics are currently used for qubit manipulation, but the large amount of optical equipment required hinders scalability. Recent pushes to build higher bit systems have identified photonic integrated circuits (PICs) as a promising platform for increasing scalability, as these systems are modular and can be fabricated with industry standard microfabrication techniques. Existing PICs incorporate passive photonics and ion traps onto the same chip, replicating the functionality of free space optical systems with a fraction of the footprint. In this project, we propose integrating active photonics – our optical MEMS switch will allow for select addressing of trapped qubits without increasing the need for optical I/O. We seek to implement active switching, low loss photonics, and surface electrode ion traps into a single monolithically fabricated chip, paving the way for novel, highly scalable hardware.
Project currently funded by: Federal