Maryland Patent of the Month – October 2023

IonQ, Inc., a quantum technology company focused on solving the world’s most complex problems with quantum computing, has been granted a patent for an atomic oven design.

This oven is designed to produce atomic flux based on a discharge of electrons. This flux can then be used as a source of neutral atoms and ions for quantum information processing (QIP) systems. Atomic-based qubits can be used as quantum memories and gates within quantum computers. These qubits can be acquired from trapped atomic ions produced by the atomic oven.

At its core, the atomic oven is a remarkable piece of technology comprising a cathode, an anode containing a source material, and a power supply. What sets this invention apart is the application of voltage between the cathode and the anode, which causes the source material, such as ytterbium or barium, on the anode to ablate or evaporate. This results in the creation of a stream of particles, some neutral and some charged, all passing through an opening meticulously formed by the cathode.

The atomic oven can operate in both steady-state and pulsed modes, producing either a continuous or pulsed stream, depending on the application’s requirements. This adaptability is a testament to its potential across various industries.

Additionally, the atomic oven’s design incorporates features like a holder, a shield, and a biasing circuit, further enhancing its functionality. The holder securely maintains the cathode and connects it to the power supply, ensuring stability during operation. The shield serves as a protective barrier in the path of the particle stream, preventing unwanted interference. Meanwhile, the biasing circuit generates a field that separates the stream into multiple distinct streams, allowing for precise control and utilization.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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