Advances in Quantum Technologies Based on Trapped Charged Particles

A special issue of Photonics (ISSN 2304-6732). This special issue belongs to the section "Quantum Photonics and Technologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 July 2024 | Viewed by 664

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
National Inst. for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics (INFLPR), Magurele, Romania
Interests: quantum technologies based on ultracold ions; quantum engineering of space and time; optical clocks; quantum optics; strongly coupled Coulomb systems levitated in ion traps; frequency metrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit a paper to this Photonics Special Issue that is focused on ion traps and quantum technologies. 

Ion traps have opened new horizons towards performing investigations on the physics of few-body phase transitions or studying nonlinear dynamics and (quantum) chaos. The applications of ion traps span very-high-precision spectroscopy, the study of non-neutral plasmas, quantum information processing (QIP) architectures, quantum metrology, and sensing.

Moreover, optical clocks will enable investigations towards merging the theory of general relativity (GR) and quantum mechanics (QM)—once they become sensitive to the finite wavefunction of quantum objects oscillating in curved space-time—along with searches for dark matter in the low-to-intermediate-mass sector,  the study of space-time variations in the fundamental constants in physics at the astrophysical scale, or a redefinition of the second.

This Special Issue will present the latest advances in the domain of ion traps and the associated quantum technologies (QTs) based on ultracold ions and molecules. Since their advent, ion traps have proven to be an invaluable instrument for modern spectroscopy, opening new pathways towards investigating atomic properties and testing quantum physics laws with unbeatable accuracy. The first quantum logic gate was achieved using trapped ions as natural qubits. Moreover, trapped ions exhibit the longest coherence times with respect to any other type of qubit, while quantum control techniques for ions are the outcome of intensive research in the area of atomic clock engineering. Optical waveguides that are integrated into a new micromachined ion-trap architecture enable the accurate control of ion qubits, excluding the need for free-space optics. Under these circumstances, the relevance of this Photonics Special Issue is clear; it will approach both fundamental and experimental aspects of the latest progress in ion traps and their applications.

For this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Ion traps;
  • Quantum information processing using ion traps (Paul and Penning), entanglement, scalability, and quantum error correction (QEC);
  • Cold molecules;
  • Hybrid quantum systems;
  • Time and frequency transfer (TFT);
  • Metrology and fundamental constants, and optical clocks based on trapped ions;
  • Quantum sensing and the quantum engineering of space and time;
  • Microfabricated ion trap geometries;
  • Ion–neutral interactions;
  • Ultra-high-resolution spectroscopy;
  • High-precision mass spectrometry;
  • (Semi)classical and quantum dynamics (both single- and many-body cases) in ion traps;
  • New interrogation protocols;
  • ARTIQ (Advanced Real-Time Infrastructure for Quantum physics).

I/We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Bogdan Mihalcea
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Photonics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • ion traps
  • mass spectrometry
  • precision spectroscopy
  • quantum control
  • quantum information processing
  • optical clocks
  • hybrid systems
  • time and frequency transfer (TFT)
  • cold molecules

Published Papers (1 paper)

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33 pages, 681 KiB  
Mathieu–Hill Equation Stability Analysis for Trapped Ions: Anharmonic Corrections for Nonlinear Electrodynamic Traps
by Bogdan M. Mihalcea
Photonics 2024, 11(6), 551; - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 451
The stability properties of the Hill equation are discussed, especially those of the Mathieu equation that characterize ion motion in electrodynamic traps. The solutions of the Mathieu-Hill equation for a trapped ion are characterized by employing the Floquet theory and Hill’s method solution, [...] Read more.
The stability properties of the Hill equation are discussed, especially those of the Mathieu equation that characterize ion motion in electrodynamic traps. The solutions of the Mathieu-Hill equation for a trapped ion are characterized by employing the Floquet theory and Hill’s method solution, which yields an infinite system of linear and homogeneous equations whose coefficients are recursively determined. Stability is discussed for parameters a and q that are real. Characteristic curves are introduced naturally by the Sturm–Liouville problem for the well-known even and odd Mathieu equations cem(z,q) and sem(z,q). In the case of a Paul trap, the stable solution corresponds to a superposition of harmonic motions. The maximum amplitude of stable oscillations for ideal conditions (taken into consideration) is derived. We illustrate the stability diagram for a combined (Paul and Penning) trap and represent the frontiers of the stability domains for both axial and radial motion, where the former is described by the canonical Mathieu equation. Anharmonic corrections for nonlinear Paul traps are discussed within the frame of perturbation theory, while the frontiers of the modified stability domains are determined as a function of the chosen perturbation parameter and we demonstrate they are shifted towards negative values of the a parameter. The applications of the results include but are not restricted to 2D and 3D ion traps used for different applications such as mass spectrometry (including nanoparticles), high resolution atomic spectroscopy and quantum engineering applications, among which we mention optical atomic clocks and quantum frequency metrology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Quantum Technologies Based on Trapped Charged Particles)
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