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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Controlling Quantum Systems for Quantum Information Processing

  • Author(s): Young, Kevin Christopher
  • Advisor(s): Whaley, Birgitta
  • Siddiqi, Irfan
  • et al.

For several decades it has been appreciated that quantum computers hold incredible promise to perform calculations intractable to classical computation. However, this promise has be slow to realize. Dozens of quantum systems are currently being investigated for use in quantum information processing - none of which have yet demonstrated algorithms involving more than a handful of qubits and it remains unclear which, if any, of these systems will ultimately compose a scalable, robust quantum information processing architecture.

In this thesis we employ analytical, optimal and algebraic control techniques to evaluate various quantum systems for their potential use in quantum information processing. In doing so, we have additionally identified several novel characterization procedures capable of probing both the coherent and incoherent dynamics of quantum systems.

The first part of this thesis discusses work motivated by attempts to utilize donor qubits in silicon as quantum bits.

We first propose a measurement of the state of a single donor electron spin using two-dimensional electron gas of a field-effect transistor and electrically detected magnetic resonance. We analyze the potential sensitivity of this measurement and show that it is a quantum nondemolition measurement of an electron-encoded state.

We then present the first of two novel qubit characterization procedures. We consider the problem of rapidly characterizing a large number of similarly prepared qubits using techniques from optimal experiment design. All qubits are assumed to evolve according to the same physical processes, though the Hamiltonian parameters may vary from device to device - an inevitability in solid state qubits. We use the Cram er-Rao bound on the variance of a point estimator to construct the optimal series of experiments to estimate these free parameters, and present a complete analysis of the optimal experimental configuration. Though applied to dipole- and exchange-coupled qubits, this technique is widely applicable to other systems.

The second part of the thesis discusses the role that control can play in measuring and mitigating noise in qubit systems. Our first result describes a method for quickly simulating the effects of arbitrary markovian noise on qubit systems through the use of a numerically optimized, multi-state Markovian fluctuator. This ability to rapidly simulate the noisy qubit evolution allows us to compute control sequences capable of maximally decoupling the qubit from the noise source.

We then introduce the second characterization procedure of the these, showing that a single measurable and controllable qubit may act as a spectrometer of dephasing noise. We show that the formalism of dynamical decoupling can be used to estimate the short-time correlation function of the noise source, while long time correlations may be estimated by a very simple series of free evolution experiments. This technique is applicable to the wide range of physical implementations which suffer from dephasing noise.

The final part of this thesis demonstrates that trapped neutral atoms may be utilized for the robust simulation of complex systems exhibiting a topological phase. We present a method to simulate the toric code Hamiltonian stroboscopically, and demonstrate that our technique preserves the ground state degeneracy . Furthermore, we introduce a dissipative mechanism allowing for thermalization of the system to a finite temperature or direct cooling to the ground state manifold.

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