Neutral atoms

Quantum computers based on neutral atoms utilise the electronic structure of atoms as qubits. To do this, ultracold atoms are trapped in optical traps and their state is manipulated with laser pulses. The result of this manipulation can then be read out microscopically. Because a large number of qubits can potentially be arranged in dense three-dimensional structures in this way, neutral atoms are suitable for the construction of highly scalable quantum computers. This approach has already been tested in quantum simulation with thousands of neutral atoms. As part of our industrial contract, we want to use this expertise specifically for the further development of the technology towards quantum computers and thus accelerate the industrialisation of the neutral atom platform.

Laboratory setup at planqc

Significance for Germany

Germany has an outstanding position in the research and application of neutral atom technology. Research centres in Germany are pioneers and global leaders in the field of analogue quantum simulation. With our neutral atom project, we want to contribute this exceptional academic expertise to industrial projects and thus tap into the potential of the neutral atom platform for advanced quantum computers based on neutral atoms.

Neutral atoms in the DLR QCI

We have commissioned the development of a programmable digital neutral atom quantum computer. Over the course of three and a half years and in several stages, the Garching-based start-up planqc is developing a quantum computer for us with more than 100 fully functional neutral atom qubits that is scalable and can be error-corrected in the future. Planqc is implementing the DiNAQC project at our Ulm Innovation Centre. Planqc also supports the ALQU and Klim-QML application projects with its expertise in neutral atom quantum computing.

Kickoff project DiNAQC at the Ulm Innovation Centre

All our neutral atoms projects

Foto: Axel Griesch

Technische Umsetzung

At first glance, qubits based on neutral atoms and ion traps have a lot in common. However, their differences become clear as soon as several qubits are allowed to interact with each other. In the DiNAQC project, we use neutral atoms in the Rydberg state, i.e. with very highly excited electrons in the atomic shell. These Rydberg atoms can interact with other atoms across micrometres and thus be entangled in a targeted manner to form two- and multi-qubit gates. Because this technology can potentially be used to arrange a large number of qubits in dense three-dimensional structures, neutral atoms are suitable for the construction of highly scalable quantum computers.

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