We report on long-term measurements of a highly coherent, non-tunable transmon qubit, revealing low-frequency burst noise in coherence times and transition frequency. We achieve thisthrough a simultaneous measurement of the qubits relaxation and dephasing rate as well as its resonance frequency and an analysis of their correlations. These yield information about the microscopic origin of the intrinsic decoherence mechanisms in Josephson qubits. Our data is consistent with a small number of microscopic two-level systems located at the edges of the superconducting film, which is further confirmed by a spectral noise analysis.

We demonstrate the local control of up to eight two-level systems interacting strongly with a microwave cavity. Following calibration, the frequency of each individual two-level system(qubit) is tunable without influencing the others. Bringing the qubits one by one on resonance with the cavity, we observe the collective coupling strength of the qubit ensemble. The splitting scales up with the square root of the number of the qubits, being the hallmark of the Tavis-Cummings model. The local control circuitry causes a bypass shunting the resonator, and a Fano interference in the microwave readout, whose contribution can be calibrated away to recover the pure cavity spectrum. The simulator’s attainable size of dressed states is limited by reduced signal visibility, and -if uncalibrated- by off-resonance shifts of sub-components. Our work demonstrates control and readout of quantum coherent mesoscopic multi-qubit system of intermediate scale under conditions of noise.

Superconducting quantum information processing machines are predominantly based on microwave circuits with relatively low characteristic impedance, of about 100 Ohm, and small anharmonicity,which can limit their coherence and logic gate fidelity. A promising alternative are circuits based on so-called superinductors, with characteristic impedances exceeding the resistance quantum RQ=6.4 kΩ. However, previous implementations of superinductors, consisting of mesoscopic Josephson junction arrays, can introduce unintended nonlinearity or parasitic resonant modes in the qubit vicinity, degrading its coherence. Here we present a fluxonium qubit design using a granular aluminum (grAl) superinductor strip. Granular aluminum is a particularly attractive material, as it self-assembles into an effective junction array with a remarkably high kinetic inductance, and its fabrication can be in-situ integrated with standard aluminum circuit processing. The measured qubit coherence time TR2 up to 30 μs illustrates the potential of grAl for applications ranging from protected qubit designs to quantum limited amplifiers and detectors.

We demonstrate how heating of an environment can invert the line shape of a driven cavity. We consider a superconducting coplanar cavity coupled to multiple artificial atoms. The measuredcavity transmission is characterized by Fano-type resonances with a shape that is continuously tunable by bias current through nearby (magnetic flux) control lines. In particular, the same dispersive shift of the microwave cavity can be observed as a peak or a dip. We find that this Fano-peak inversion is possible due to a tunable interference between a microwave transmission through a background, with reactive and dissipative properties, and through the cavity, affected by bias-current induced heating. The background transmission occurs due to crosstalk with the multiple control lines. We show how such background can be accounted for by a Jaynes- or Tavis-Cummings model with modified boundary conditions between the cavity and transmission-line microwave fields. A dip emerges when cavity transmission is comparable with background transmission and dissipation. We find generally that resonance positions determine system energy levels, whereas resonance shapes give information on system fluctuations and dissipation.

Superconducting high kinetic inductance elements constitute a valuable resource for quantum circuit design and millimeter-wave detection. Granular aluminum (GrAl) in the superconductingregime is a particularly interesting material since it has already shown a kinetic inductance in the range of nH/◻ and its deposition is compatible with conventional Al/AlOx/Al Josephson junction fabrication. We characterize microwave resonators fabricated from GrAl with a room temperature resistivity of 4×103μΩ⋅cm, which is a factor of 3 below the superconductor to insulator transition, showing a kinetic inductance fraction close to unity. The measured internal quality factors are on the order of Qi=105 in the single photon regime, and we demonstrate that non-equilibrium quasiparticles (QP) constitute the dominant loss mechanism. We extract QP relaxation times in the range of 1 s and we observe QP bursts every ∼20 s. The current level of coherence of GrAl resonators makes them attractive for integration in quantum devices, while it also evidences the need to reduce the density of non-equilibrium QPs.

Analyzing weak microwave signals in the GHz regime is a challenging task if the signal level is very low and the photon energy widely undefined. Due to its discrete level structure,a superconducting qubit is only sensitive to photons of certain energies. With a multi-level quantum system (qudit) in contrast, the unknown photon frequency can be deduced from the higher level AC Stark shift. The measurement accuracy is given by the signal amplitude, its detuning from the discrete qudit energy level structure and the anharmonicity. We demonstrate an energy sensitivity in the order of 10−4 with a measurement range of 1 GHz. Here, using a transmon qubit, we experimentally observe shifts in the transition frequencies involving up to three excited levels. These shifts are in good agreement with an analytic circuit model and master equation simulations. For large detunings, we find the shifts to scale linearly with the power of the applied microwave drive.

Long-lived fluxon excitations can be trapped inside a superinductor ring, which is divided into an array of loops by a periodic sequence of Josephson junctions in the quantum regime,thereby allowing fluxons to tunnel between neighboring sites. By tuning the Josephson couplings, and implicitly the fluxon tunneling probability amplitudes, a wide class of 1D tight-binding lattice models may be implemented and populated with a stable number of fluxons. We illustrate the use of this quantum simulation platform by discussing the Su-Schrieffer-Heeger model in the 1-fluxon subspace, which hosts a symmetry protected topological phase with fractionally charged bound states at the edges. This pair of localized edge states could be used to implement a superconducting qubit increasingly decoupled from decoherence mechanisms.

We consider superconducting circuits for the purpose of simulating the spin-boson model. The spin-boson model consists of a single two-level system coupled to bosonic modes. In mostcases, the model is considered in a limit where the bosonic modes are sufficiently dense to form a continuous spectral bath. A very well known case is the Ohmic bath, where the density of states grows linearly with the frequency. In the limit of weak coupling or large temperature, this problem can be solved numerically. If the coupling is strong, the bosonic modes can become sufficiently excited to make a classical simulation impossible. Quantum simulation of this problem can be done by coupling a superconducting qubit to a specifically engineered electromagnetic environment. We discuss in detail how to build a bosonic bath using superconducting resonators and how to achieve strong couplings by additional driving. We also discuss how interesting spin dynamics with different initialization conditions can be probed by using standard techniques from circuit quantum electrodynamics.

Parasitic two-level tunneling systems (TLS) emerge in amorphous dielectrics and constitute a serious nuisance for various microfabricated devices, where they act as a source of noiseand decoherence. Here, we demonstrate a new test bed for the study of TLS in various materials which provides access to properties of individual TLS as well as their ensemble response. We terminate a superconducting transmission-line resonator with a capacitor that hosts TLS in its dielectric. By tuning TLS via applied mechanical strain, we observe the signatures of individual TLS strongly coupled to the resonator in its transmission characteristics and extract the coupling components of their dipole moments and energy relaxation rates. The strong and well-defined coupling to the TLS bath results in pronounced resonator frequency fluctuations and excess phase noise, through which we can study TLS ensemble effects such as spectral diffusion, and probe theoretical models of TLS interaction.

We present an argon ion beam milling process to remove the native oxide layer forming on aluminum thin films due to their exposure to atmosphere in between lithographic steps. Our cleaningprocess is readily integrable with conventional fabrication of Josephson junction quantum circuits. From measurements of the internal quality factors of superconducting microwave resonators with and without contacts, we place an upper bound on the residual resistance of an ion beam milled contact of 50mΩ⋅μm2 at a frequency of 4.5 GHz. Resonators for which only 6% of the total foot-print was exposed to the ion beam milling, in areas of low electric and high magnetic field, showed quality factors above 106 in the single photon regime, and no degradation compared to single layer samples. We believe these results will enable the development of increasingly complex superconducting circuits for quantum information processing.