An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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.


Dr. Kathy-Anne Soderberg, AFRL Team Lead - Principal Research Physicist
Dr. David Hucul, AFRL - Senior Physicist
Dr. Zachary Smith, AFRL - Senior Physicist
Garrett Percevault, AFRL - Student Intern
Nicholas Barton, Contractor - Research Assistant
Andrew Brownell, Contractor - Research Assistant
Clayton Craft, Contractor - Research Assistant
Andrew Klug, Contractor - Research Assistant
Michael Macalik, Contractor - Research Assistant
Kenneth Scalzi, Contractor - 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).

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