Multi-Species Trapped Atomic Ion Modules for Quantum Networks

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Trapped atomic ions are among leading platforms in quantum information processing with their long coherence times and high fidelity quantum operations. Scaling up to larger numbers of qubits is a remaining major challenge. A network of trapped ion modules offers a promising solution by keeping a manageable number of qubits within a module while photonic interfaces connect separate modules together to increase the number of controlled memory qubits. Since the generation of entanglement between qubits in different modules is probabilistic, an excessive number of connection trials might result in decoherence on the memory qubits through absorption of stray photons. This crosstalk issue could be circumvented by introducing a different atomic species as photonic qubits. Compared to a system that only utilizes single species of atoms, there are also additional advantages in a multi-species apparatus where attractive features of each atom can be employed for certain tasks. In this thesis, I present experimental demonstrations of necessary ingredients of a multi-species module for quantum networking. In these experiments, barium ions are intended to be used as photonic communication qubits with visible photon emission lines that are more convenient for current fiber optics and detector technologies while ytterbium ions are used for storing and processing quantum information where long coherence times available in hyperfine clock states make them suitable memory qubits. The key experiments include demonstration of atom-photon entanglement using the barium qubit and utilizing the Coulomb interaction between ytterbium and barium with spin-dependent forces for transfer of information from communication to memory qubits.