Cryogenic surface-electrode trap
2013: We have proposed a new method for wiring up the control electrodes of an ion trap, based on inserting electronic switches close to the trap electrodes. This should allow voltage changes of several volts to be made to the trap electrodes on nano-second timescales, which is an order of magnitude faster than any work performed to date. We investigated possibilities for performing fast transport of ions and squeezed state generation using this method. The work has been published in New Journal of Physics.
This experiment aims to trap ions in a surface-electrode trap placed in a 4-Kelvin cryostat. The cryogenic temperature has the advantage over room-temperature vacuum setups that the pressure is much lower, which is advantageous for achieving long lifetimes in ion traps.
The trap is formed by an electrode structure formed using photo-lithography on the surface of a planar crystalline quartz wafer. This allows high accuracy fabrication of electrode structures, which enables small traps to be built. A photo of one of our traps which was fabricated in the FIRST-lab cleanroom is shown below.