I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Ion Trap Quantum Computing group. We conduct research into the use of individual trapped ions as the central building blocks of a quantum computer - a device which exploits quantum mechanics to perform calculations. A quantum computer theoretically, and recently shown experimentally, can solve many complex problems which are insoluble on a classical computer.
My research specifically looks at the use of near-field microwave radiation to perform electronically-driven quantum logic operations, with the aim of tackling both fidelity and scalability issues associated with laser-driven quantum logic operations. Microwave technology is vastly more developed than laser technology, existing in many everyday devices such as mobile phones. Not only is microwave technology commercially available at a considerably lower cost than laser systems, it is also significantly easier to control. Microwave systems also benefit from their ability to be directly integrated into control structures, facilitating the production of chip-based ion-traps, which can be scaled into a quantum `CCD-like' device.