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Quantum Computing Arrays Made of Two Types of Atom

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Arrays of rubidium-85 and rubidium-87.

Researchers have experimentally demonstrated how to produce arrays containing two different rubidium isotopes.

Credit: C. Sheng et al

Using arrays of a single type of neutral atom, researchers have recently demonstrated that they can orchestrate atomic interactions for applications such as quantum computing or the controlled formation of single molecules. They are now looking to create neutral-atom arrays from multiple atomic species, something that could enable more advanced quantum computing protocols, for example. Toward that goal, Xiaodong He of the Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, China, and colleagues have now experimentally demonstrated how to produce arrays containing two different rubidium isotopes [1]. The demonstration parallels another by a team led by Hannes Bernien at the University of Chicago, which realized arrays of rubidium and cesium atoms [2].

Both teams used optical tweezers to arrange their atom arrays.

He and his colleagues worked with two isotopes of rubidium.

They loaded a mixture of around 30 rubidium-85 ( 85Rb) and rubidium-87 ( 87Rb) atoms into optical tweezer arrays from a magneto-optical trap. They then used fluorescence imaging to measure the initial array pattern that the atoms formed. Next, they rearranged the 85Rb and 87Rb atoms, using a movable tweezer to switch out one rubidium isotope for another so that they could create a specific array pattern. The steps of this switch-out process were determined by an algorithm that He's team developed so that they could replace incorrect isotopes in the fewest possible moves.

From Physics
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