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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We study dynamical decoupling in a multiqubit setting, where it is combined with quantum logic gates. This is illustrated in terms of computation using Heisenberg interactions only, where global decoupling pulses commute with the computation. We derive a rigorous error bound on the trace distance or fidelity between the desired computational state and the actual time-evolved state, for a system subject to coupling to a bounded-strength bath. The bound is expressed in terms of the operator norm of the effective Hamiltonian generating the evolution in the presence of decoupling and logic operations. We apply the bound to the case of periodic pulse sequences and find that in order to maintain a constant trace distance or fidelity, the number of cycles—at fixed pulse interval and width—should scale in inverse proportion to the square of the number of qubits. This sets a scalability limit on the protection of quantum computation using periodic dynamical decoupling.