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Entangling, Controlling, and Detecting Individual Strontium Atoms in Optical Tweezer Arrays


Madjarov, Ivaylo Sashkov (2021) Entangling, Controlling, and Detecting Individual Strontium Atoms in Optical Tweezer Arrays. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/d1em-dt34.


We present a novel experimental platform for quantum and precision science: single strontium atoms trapped in arrays of optical tweezers. We demonstrate development of this platform along three important fronts: single-atom trapping, imaging, and cooling; coherent control of the ultra-narrow clock transition; and inter-atom entanglement via Rydberg interactions.

In the context of single-atom physics, we demonstrate trapping in tweezer arrays of one- and two-dimensions as well as cooling to the motional ground state. We furthermore show high-fidelity single-atom imaging with extremely low loss, allowing us to image the same atoms thousands of times before losing them and in principle allowing for the assembly of defect-free atom arrays of several hundred sites.

Notably, we show these results in tweezers that are at a magic wavelength for strontium's clock transition. This feature allows us to perform high-fidelity state rotations on the clock transition. We also demonstrate operation of a single-site resolved atomic-array optical clock -- a new atomic clock platform that combines several benefits of optical lattice and single-ion clocks.

From the metastable clock state, we drive the atoms to highly-excited Rydberg states to introduce interactions between nearby atoms. Using a Rydberg blockade in an assembled array of atom pairs, we demonstrate generation of two-atom entangled Bell states with a fidelity of >98%, or >99% with correction for state preparation and measurement errors. Furthermore, we demonstrate an auto-ionization state-detection scheme for Rydberg atoms which improves on the infidelity of previous Rydberg state-detection schemes by over an order of magnitude.

We conclude with several outlooks, including preliminary data on light-cone correlation spreading in a system of 17 interacting atoms. We also discuss prospects for implementing quantum gates, operating a spin-squeezed clock, increasing system size, quantifying many-body state fidelity, and reducing sources of infidelity.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Atomic, molecular, and optical physics (AMO); Quantum physics; Optical tweezers; Neutral atoms; Strontium; Entanglement; Atomic clock
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Awards:John Stager Stemple Memorial Prize in Physics, 2019.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Endres, Manuel A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hutzler, Nicholas R. (chair)
  • Endres, Manuel A.
  • Painter, Oskar J.
  • Alicea, Jason F.
Defense Date:22 January 2021
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:01292021-001639979
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 3.4 of article supplementary information adapted for Appendix E
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14061
Deposited By: Ivaylo Madjarov
Deposited On:03 Mar 2021 22:15
Last Modified:03 Nov 2021 20:17

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