The Quantum Control Laboratory is interested in the intersection of control engineering with experimental quantum information, quantum sensing, and precision metrology. Our team focuses on the development and intersection of quantum technologies based on trapped atomic ions and specialized high-precision microwave and laser systems.

We currently operate the highest-performance quantum computer in the southern hemisphere and have demonstrated world-leading performance in quantum-logic error rates and coherent lifetimes.

The team also collaborates with Q-CTRL, an advanced-technology startup founded by Prof. Biercuk and focused on software for quantum control.

Students and postdoctoral researchers interested in opportunities should contact Professor Biercuk directly.

Learn more about our research projects below.

Quantum Computing with Trapped Ions

Project Leader: Dr. Ting-Rei Tan

Quantum computing promises to totally transform information processing, making previously inaccessible problems of real societal and economic relevance solvable.

The Quantum Control Laboratory is leading the development of quantum computing hardware based on trapped atomic ions.  We’re focused primarily on the realization of ultra-high-fidelity, error-robust quantum logic, as well as techniques to characterize hardware performance.

Selected manuscripts:

Phase-modulated entangling gates robust to static and time-varying errors

Dynamically corrected gates suppress spatio-temporal error correlations as measured by randomized benchmarking

Experimental quantum verification in the presence of temporally correlated noise

Phase-modulated decoupling and error suppression in qubit-oscillator systems

The effect of noise correlations on randomized benchmarking

Long-time Low-latency Quantum Memory by Dynamical Decoupling


Quantum Simulation for Chemistry & Materials

Project Leader: Dr. Robert Wolf

The simulation of quantum coherent many-body systems is a promising new route to solve major problems in materials science for energy distribution.  Through experiments using linear Paul traps and ion arrays in Penning traps we are seeking to engineer designer Hamiltonians for studies of problems including quantum magnetism and quantum chemistry.

Selected manuscripts:

Site-resolved imaging of beryllium ion crystals in a high-optical-access Penning trap with inbore optomechanics

Programmable quantum simulation by dynamic Hamiltonian engineering


Quantum Control Engineering

Project Leader: Dr. Ting-Rei Tan

Control theory is a universal enabling discipline within the engineering community.  We are seeking to bring insights from control theory to the quantum domain, allowing us to efficiently exploit quantum coherent systems for applications in energy and computation.  Our aim is to produce a flexible quantum control toolkit that is adaptable to any future quantum technology, but with specific emphasis on quantum computing.  Specific projects relate to open-loop error suppression and the application of machine-learning to autonomous system tuneup and characterization.

Selected manuscripts:

Quantum oscillator noise spectroscopy via displaced Schrödinger cat states

Integration of spectator qubits into quantum computer architectures for hardware tuneup and calibration

Simultaneous spectral estimation of dephasing and amplitude noise on a qubit sensor via optimally band-limited control

Autonomous adaptive noise characterization in quantum computers

Machine learning for predictive estimation of qubit dynamics subject to dephasing

Experimental noise filtering by quantum control

A ion trap apparatus inside its vacuum chamber

Hardware Systems for Quantum Technology & Precision Metrology

Project Leaders: Dr. Robert Wolf & Dr. Ting-Rei Tan



The Quantum Control Laboratory occupies one of the most precisely engineered research laboratories in the world. These facilities have been designed specifically to support quantum science and precision metrology research.  Key features include temperature stability within 0.1 C, active and passive electromagnetic shielding, and vibration-isolation of the laboratory slab.

Leveraging the performance benefits of this space, the Quantum Control Laboratory builds and operates advanced infrastructure:

  • Two RF Paul traps for experiments with linear ion crystals
  • A Penning trap for quantum-many-body physics experiments with hundreds of trapped ions
  • A Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator (CSO) providing GHz reference frequencies with frequency stability 10^-16 and ultra-high spectral purity
  • A Hydrogen loading facility for UV compatible fiber-optic patch cables
  • Ultra stable optical reference cavities with drift rates as low as ~120 mHz/s