Ion Trap Quantum Computing

Group Leaders:

Prof. David Lucas and Prof. Andrew Steane

About us

We are primarily an experimental group, testing and developing ideas in quantum computing using laser-manipulated trapped ions. Currently a major focus is the construction of a series of photonically-linked ion traps which will be the "unit cells" of a simple quantum information processor, as part of the "Networked Quantum Information Processing" Hub project led by Oxford, see the NQIT page for details.

We are also involved in some theoretical activity, concerned mainly with quantum fault-tolerant methods and quantum error correction. See here for introductions, papers, and other links about this work.

TrapIonzoom.jpg'Blade' ion trap in ultra-high vacuum system. If you look closely, you can see a single strontium ion in the centre of the trap, between the tips of the two 'needle' electrodes. The tips of the needles are separated by 2.3mm. (Note that this is an actual photo of ion and trap, not a montage of separate photos; a long camera exposure time, 30 seconds, was used to capture the faint fluorescence from the single ion.) [Photo credit - David Nadlinger]

ca43xtal.jpgAn image of nine calcium-43 ions confined in one of our traps. They are about 10µm apart, scattering 397nm laser light, and at an effective temperature of about 0.001 degrees above absolute zero. (This photo was taken with a scientific CCD; with a good imaging lens, this type of camera is sensitive enough to detect the quantum state of the ions with 99.99% reliability in an exposure time of 0.4ms.) [Photo credit - lost in the mists of time]

Postdoc positions

We are currently looking for a postdoc to join the research group in autumn 2017. If you are interested in joining us as a postdoc, please email

Ph.D. positions

We are always looking for talented and motivated students who are interested in pursuing research in our group. We are likely to be seeking one or two students to start in 2018. Please apply through the University of Oxford's graduate admissions process; if you would like further information, please email


We work at the Clarendon Laboratory at the University of Oxford. For directions see the Oxford Physics page here.