Entangling gates in trapped-ion quantum computers are most often applied to stationary ions with initial motional distributions that are thermal and close to the ground state, while those demonstrations that involve transport generally use sympathetic cooling to reinitialize the motional state prior to applying a gate. Future systems with more ions, however, will face greater nonthermal excitation due to increased amounts of ion transport and exacerbated by longer operational times and variations over the trap array. In addition, pregate sympathetic cooling may be limited due to time costs and laser access constraints. In this paper, we analyze the impact of such coherent motional excitation on entangling-gate error by performing simulations of Mølmer-Sørenson (MS) gates on a pair of trapped-ion qubits with both thermal and coherent excitation present in a shared motional mode at the start of the gate. Here, we quantify how a small amount of coherent displacement erodes gate performance in the presence of experimental noise, and we demonstrate that adjusting the relative phase between the initial coherent displacement and the displacement induced by the gate or using Walsh modulation can suppress this error. We then use experimental data from transported ions to analyze the impact of coherent displacement on MS-gate error under realistic conditions.
In this report we describe the testing of a novel scheme for state preparation of trapped ions in a quantum computing setup. This technique optimally would allow for similar precision and speed of state preparation while allowing for individual addressability of single ions in a chain using technology already available in a trapped ion experiment. As quantum computing experiments become more complicated, mid-experiment measurements will become necessary to achieve algorithms such as quantum error correction. Any mid-experiment measurement then requires the measured qubit to be re-prepared to a known quantum state. Currently this involves the protected qubits to be moved a sizeable distance away from the qubit being re-prepared which can be costly in terms of experiment length as well as introducing errors. Theoretical calculations predict that a three-photon process would allow for state preparation without qubit movement with similar efficiencies to current state preparation methods.
As noise limits the performance of quantum processors, the ability to characterize this noise and develop methods to overcome it is essential for the future of quantum computing. In this report, we develop a complete set of tools for improving quantum processor performance at the application level, including low-level physical models of quantum gates, a numerically efficient method of producing process matrices that span a wide range of model parameters, and full-channel quantum simulations. We then provide a few examples of how to use these tools to study the effects of noise on quantum circuits.