College of Science and Mathematics
BS in Physics
Dr. Katharina Gillen
Creating a quantum computer requires a system of particles that can be well-controlled to achieve quantum operations. We need a large array of these particles – called qubits – with long coherence times, which can be initialized, operated on by single and two qubit gates, and read out. For neutral atoms, the qubit states are stable ground states that interact minimally with the environment, leading to long coherence times. Experimentally, the qubits are manipulated using carefully timed laser beam pulses with controlled frequency and intensity, but the outstanding issue for optically trapping cold atoms is finding a light pattern that can hold an array of individually addressable atoms to perform these quantum operations. To solve this, pinhole diffraction patterns were previously computationally analyzed to trap a 2D array of qubits within localized bright and dark spots. This project implements an injection locked laser into this system to provide a high power, tunable light source for the pinhole diffraction pattern atomic trap. In this project, the injection locked laser system is tuned to and analyzed at 780 nm to observe the locking efficiency as a function of the laser diode temperature or current supplied to the tuned-frequency laser diode, also known as the seed laser. Data taken on the injection lock efficiency over varying seed laser power in the system, current supplied to the seed laser diode, and laser diode temperature confirm that there is a large dependence upon each of these settings. An optimal combination of seed laser diode temperature and current supplied to it can be found to provide an efficient and stable power source for the atomic trap.