We demonstrate the use of a single trapped ion as a sensor to probe electric-field noise from interchangeable test surfaces. As proof of principle, we measure the magnitude and distance dependence of electric-field noise from two ion-trap-like samples with patterned Au electrodes. This trapped-ion sensor could be combined with other surface characterization tools to help elucidate the mechanisms that give rise to electric-field noise from ion-trap surfaces. Such noise presents a significant hurdle for performing large-scale trapped-ion quantum computations.
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The authors acknowledge helpful discussions with S. Glancy and E. Knill and thank M. Kim, A. McFadden, and R. Goldfarb for helpful comments on the article. K.S.M. and P.D.K acknowledge support as associates in the Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) operated jointly by NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder under Award No. 70NANB18H006 from the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST. Contributions to this article by workers at NIST, an agency of the U.S. Government, are not subject to U.S. copyright.
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