Developing technology to build a quantum computer
Quantum theory can have powerful applications due to the possibility of implementing new quantum technologies such as the quantum computer. While such a device could have very important commercial and national security applications due to the existence of quantum factoring algorithms, its existence would revolutionize modern day science by allowing true quantum simulations of systems that may be modeled classically only insufficiently due to an in-principle limitation of current computer technology. Recent developments in ion trapping technology show that it should be possible to build a quantum computer with trapped ions. Our aim is to develop methods to built such a device. For this purpose our research focuses on applied experimental quantum information science, in particular the development of new scalable methods to build ion trap arrays and the entanglement generation with multiple quantum bits. We develop techniques to retain and control atoms during shuttling operations along complicated paths inside the array. Furthermore, we engineer and fabricate such arrays making use of cutting-edge nanofabrication technology. Advances in nanotechnology will be used to engineer complete ion trap chip architectures. The application of state-of-the-art nanotechnology is indeed vital to develop ion quantum technology beyond proof-of-principle. Once we have created this architecture for quantum technology, we will carry out quantum simulations and computations using the tools we have developed.
Quantum hybrid systems
As part of a new European collaboration we develop quantum hybrid systems aiming towards coupling solid state quantum bits with trapped ion quantum bits.
Exploring the foundations of quantum mechanics
A second complementary research direction is the exploration of quantum phenomena and their connection to our "classical" world. One key interest is the interaction of atomic and condensed matter systems in the quantum domain.
Physics of biological systems
A new research area consists of the physics of biological systems in collaboration with researchers from life sciences and informatics.