Dissipative Quantum Error Correction and Application to Quantum Sensing With Trapped Ions

Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 28;8(1):1822. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01895-5.


Quantum-enhanced measurements hold the promise to improve high-precision sensing ranging from the definition of time standards to the determination of fundamental constants of nature. However, quantum sensors lose their sensitivity in the presence of noise. To protect them, the use of quantum error-correcting codes has been proposed. Trapped ions are an excellent technological platform for both quantum sensing and quantum error correction. Here we present a quantum error correction scheme that harnesses dissipation to stabilize a trapped-ion qubit. In our approach, always-on couplings to an engineered environment protect the qubit against spin-flips or phase-flips. Our dissipative error correction scheme operates in a continuous manner without the need to perform measurements or feedback operations. We show that the resulting enhanced coherence time translates into a significantly enhanced precision for quantum measurements. Our work constitutes a stepping stone towards the paradigm of self-correcting quantum information processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.