MSE Colloquium - Dr. Jordi Mur-Petit
Date: March 09, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST
Location: RM 214 in S.W. Mudd
Contact: For further information regarding this event, please contact Wesley Hattan by sending email to or by calling 2128547860.
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J. Mur-Petit
Instituto de Fisica Fundamental, IFF-CSIC, Madrid, Spain

"Quantum Information Processing with Cold Molecular Ions"

Trapped atomic ions constitute one of the most advanced and promising physical systems to implement Quantum Information Processing and Computation (QIPC) protocols due to the exquisite experimental control, low decoherence rates, and the precise theoretical understanding of the physics involved [1]. Due to the recent progress in cooling and trapping molecular ions [2], it seems interesting to extend these tools to study molecular ions, both because of their intrinsic interest as systems with a complex internal structure, and because they have been proposed as appropriate systems to analyze a number of fundamental physical questions, such as the time variation of fundamental constants, or high-precision spectroscopy of simple molecular ions to test with theoretical calculations [3].

In this context, we have recently developed a new, temperature-independent spectroscopic protocol suitable to study electronic, vibrational, rotational, and Zeeman transitions in complex ions [4]. In this reference, we present the specific experimental requirements for a system composed of 40Ca+ and 14N2 + ions, based on calculations of the Zeeman structure of 14N2 + ions.

We have now extended these calculations for the case of 16O2 + ions. The nucleus 16O is a doubly magic nucleus and, as such, has zero spin. As a consequence, the Zeeman structure of 16O2 + molecular ions is considerably simplified as compared to the 14N2 + case. This has allowed us to identify a pair of levels in the ground rovibronic state that look promising for QIPC purposes.

I will present our calculations on the energy spectrum under a magnetic field for nitrogen and oxygen molecular ions, and discuss the actual prospects of using them for quantum information processing and quantum computation.


[1] D. Leibfried et al., Rev. Mod. Phys. 75, 281 (2003).

[2] P. F. Staanum et al., Nature Phys. 6, 271 (2010); T. Schneider et al., ibid., 6, 275 (2010); X. Tong et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 143001 (2010).

[3] See e.g. S. Schiller and V. Korobov, Phys. Rev. A 71, 032505 (2005); J. C. J. Koelemeij et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 173002 (2007).; L. Hilico et al., Eur. Phys. J. D 12, 449 (2000).

[4] J. Mur-Petit, J. Perez-Rios, J. Campos-Martinez, M. I. Hernandez, S. Willitsch, and J. J. Garcia-Ripoll, "Temperature independent quantum logic for molecular spectroscopy," arXiv:1106.3320 (2011).