Quantum computers can efficiently solve classically intractable problems, such as the factorization of a large number1 and the simulation of quantum many-body systems2,3. Universal quantum computation can be simplified by decomposing circuits into single- and two-qubit entangling gates4, but such decomposition is not necessarily efficient. It has been suggested that polynomial or exponential speedups can be obtained with global N-qubit (N greater than two) entangling gates5,6,7,8,9. Such global gates involve all-to-all connectivity, which emerges among trapped-ion qubits when using laser-driven collective motional modes10,11,12,13,14, and have been implemented for a single motional mode15,16. However, the single-mode approach is difficult to scale up because isolating single modes becomes challenging as the number of ions increases in a single crystal, and multi-mode schemes are scalable17,18 but limited to pairwise gates19,20,21,22,23. Here we propose and implement a scalable scheme for realizing global entangling gates on multiple 171Yb+ ion qubits by coupling to multiple motional modes through modulated laser fields. Because such global gates require decoupling multiple modes and balancing all pairwise coupling strengths during the gate, we develop a system with fully independent control capability on each ion14. To demonstrate the usefulness and flexibility of these global gates, we generate a Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger state with up to four qubits using a single global operation. Our approach realizes global entangling gates as scalable building blocks for universal quantum computation, motivating future research in scalable global methods for quantum information processing.
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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under grants 2016YFA0301900 and 2016YFA0301901 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grants 11574002 and 11504197.
Nature thanks Chris Ballance, Roee Ozeri and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Extended data figures and tables
For the given trap frequencies, the gate duration τ of the single-mode approach grows faster than linearly (τ ≈ N2.4) to maintain the fidelity F when the number of ions, N, increases. The gate duration of the multi-mode approach grows near linearly, with a theoretical fidelity of unity. The vertical axis is on a logarithmic scale.
The figure shows the structure of the blade trap. The radiofrequency potential is applied to the RF electrodes and the direct-current (DC) electrodes are connected to the direct-current potential. A static magnetic field of B ≈ 6 × 10−4 T is applied along the direction shown in the figure. The cover-all beam goes through the side viewport and is focused at the ion-chain position into an elliptical Gaussian beam, with waists of about 30 μm along the ion chain and about 5 μm in the perpendicular direction. The individual beams go through the bottom re-entry viewport and have a focused radius of about 1 μm at the ion position. The average laser power is around 120 mW for the cover-all beam and around 1 mW for each individual beam. The effective wave vector Δk of the two Raman beams is almost in the x direction, and the beams are polarized linearly, perpendicular to each other.
Extended Data Fig. 3 Motional trajectories in phase space for the global four-qubit entangling gate.
Because we apply different modulated-phase patterns to the qubits (1, 4) and (2, 3), the shapes of the motional trajectories in a–d and e–h are different.
This file contains Supplementary Methods.