AFRL/RITQ - Trapped Ions


AFRL’s trapped ion team investigates quantum mechanics and quantum information science with the long-term goal of constructing a quantum network made for processing and transmitting quantum information. Quantum networks can be used for a variety of tasks including secure communication, a network of clocks, phased sensor arrays, and large scale quantum information processing. The quantum bits in this lab are laser-cooled, trapped ions. Since trapped ions are pristine, identical atomic clocks, trapped ions are a leading contender for building large-scale quantum information systems.

Trapped ions naturally provide high quality memories for storing and retrieving quantum information. In addition, ions have two buses to connect the quantum bits together: their mutual electric repulsion (phonons) for intra-node information processing and emitted photons for inter-node information transmission.

To date, most trapped ion systems use the Coulomb force to entangle the ions that directly interact with each other. Our goal is to distribute entanglement between and within both homogenous (trapped ion) and heterogeneous (trapped ion, quantum photonic integrated circuits, superconducting qubits) quantum network nodes to explore quantum networking applications.

We have labs on AFRL's RI campus and in the Innovare Advancement Center.

CLICK HERE to visit our other quantum labs.

quantum trapped ions team


David Hucul - AFRL Team Lead - Principal Research Physicist
Zachary Smith - Senior Physicist
Clayton Craft - Senior Physicist
Garrett Percevault - Research Assistant
Pramod Asagodu - Research Assistant
Nick Barton - Research Assistant
Andrew Brownell - Research Assistant
Andrew Klug - Research Assistant
Christine Mathers - Research Assistant
Curtis Pilny - Student Intern
Nikola Porto - Research Assistant 
Ken Scalzi - Research Assistant
Ian Wildemann - Research Assistant
Ella George - Student Intern
Matthew Huestis - Student Intern
David Hummel - Research Assistant
Mike Macalik - Research Assistant



Application of a self-injection locked cyan laser for barium ion cooling and spectroscopy,” A.A. Savchenkov, J.E. Christensen, D. Hucul, W.C. Campbell, E.R. Hudson, S. Williams, and A.B. Matsko. Nature Sci. Rep 10, 16494 (2020).
High fidelity manipulation of a qubit enabled by a manufactured nucleus,” J.E. Christensen, D. Hucul, W.C. Campbell, and E.R. Hudson, npj Quan Inf 6, 35 (2020).


Towards using trapped ions as memory nodes in a photon-mediated quantum network,” B. Tabakov, J. Bell, D.F. Bogorin, B. Bonenfant, P. Cook, L. Disney, T. Dolezal, J.P. O’Reilly, J. Phillips, K. Poole, L. Wessing, and K.-A. Brickman-Soderberg. Proc. SPIE 10660, Quantum Information Science, Sensing, and Computation X, 106600L (2018).

Kathy-Anne Soderberg - Senior Scientist for Quantum Science and Technology, AFRL
Felix Ribuot-Hirsch - SpeQtral Quantum
Jeffrey Carvalho - Grad Student, University at Buffalo
Joseph Broz - Hughes Research Laboratory
Carson Woodford - AFRL Civilian
William Grant - Binghampton University
Capt James Williams - Military (USAF)
Paige Haas - Dressage Instructor
Justin Phillips - Grad Student at Berkeley (Physics)
Boyan Tabakov - AFOSR
Harris Rutbeck-Goldman - SRI Laboratory
Lt Kaitlin Poole - Air Force Institute of Technology
Daniela Bogorin - IBM T.J. Watson Quantum Research
Lt Nathan Woodford - Grad student at Utah State
Jameson O'Reilly - Grad student at Duke
Nathan Amidon
Savannah Decker - Grad student at Dartmouth
Brandon Robinson
Brenna Nelson
Benjamin Bonenfant
Lt Lester Disney
Lt Jackson Bell