Sandia Labs FY21 LDRD Annual Report
FY21 ANNUAL REPORT
R&D 100 Award Winner Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed (QSCOUT) allows scientific community to study the quantum machine.
Quantum computing offers the allure of an exponential speed-up to the solution of important problems in an array of fields from basic science and medicine to national security. However, in order to realize the potential of quantum computing, research is needed not only on quantum devices and qubits but on quantum computers themselves. Now, for the first time, this has been made possible with QSCOUT. The primary goal of the QSCOUT project is to build, maintain and provide access to a quantum processor based on trapped ion technology to the scientific community at large. QSCOUT has a rare design for a testbed—it uses what is called an ion trap. Trapped ions are held inside QSCOUT in a so-called “trap on a chip,” a flat, bow tie-shaped device, about 2 cm (0.8 inches) long, overlaid on a semiconductor chip. This design means Sandia’s testbed can run at warmer temperatures, plus trapped ions also yield
clearer signals than circuits and hold on to information longer, enabling scientists to perform different types of experiments and compare the two platforms. QSCOUT is a quantum computer for scientists, by scientists. (PI: Susan Clark) Watch the YouTube video. Sandia physicist Susan Clark leads the team that built the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed. The ion-based quantum computer was made for outside researchers to use. (Photo by Bret Latter)
QSCOUT’s ion trap uses an electromagnetic field to hold a chain of ytterbium-171 ions that function as qubits.
LABORATORY DIRECTED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
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