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Quantum Control with Trapped Ions


This project aims to develop novel techniques for the control of quantum systems using trapped atomic ions.


Professor Michael J. Biercuk.

Research location

School of Physics

Program type



A primary focus of our research on trapped ions is the development of efficient and robust control techniques for arbitrary quantum systems in the presence of environmental noise. Decoherence - the decay of the "quantumness" of a state - is a major challenge for any quantum system, and requires a dedicated effort to produce error-resistant approaches to quantum control.

Open-loop coherent control protocols provide a means to dynamically suppress random errors in quantum systems, addressing a primary challenge in quantum technology. Our work aims to expand the efficacy and applicability of dynamical decoupling for use in any coherent technology - establishing a fundamental role for these techniques as quantum firmware. We have recently formulated an efficient and user-friendly "filter-design" framework to understanding the performance of various open-loop control protocols. Outstanding challenges include the suppression of universal decoherence, the development of new optimization techniques, and the dynamical protection of nontrivial logic operations.

Our experimental efforts employ trapped atomic ions as a model quantum system, and permit detailed studies of quantum dynamics in noisy environments.

The Quantum Control Laboratory, housed in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub, is a world-class research facility. Experience gained in this project will cover atomic physics, light-matter interaction, magnetic resonance, microwave systems, and quantum control.

Additional information

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden)
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.).
You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your applicaion.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1432

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