Granular aluminum: A superconducting material for high impedance quantum circuits

  1. Lukas Grünhaupt,
  2. Martin Spiecker,
  3. Daria Gusenkova,
  4. Nataliya Maleeva,
  5. Sebastian T. Skacel,
  6. Ivan Takmakov,
  7. Francesco Valenti,
  8. Patrick Winkel,
  9. Hannes Rotzinger,
  10. Alexey V. Ustinov,
  11. and Ioan M. Pop
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.

Quasiparticle dynamics in granular aluminum close to the superconductor to insulator transition

  1. Lukas Grünhaupt,
  2. Nataliya Maleeva,
  3. Sebastian T. Skacel,
  4. Martino Calvo,
  5. Florence Levy-Bertrand,
  6. Alexey V. Ustinov,
  7. Hannes Rotzinger,
  8. Alessandro Monfardini,
  9. Gianluigi Catelani,
  10. and Ioan M. Pop
Superconducting high kinetic inductance elements constitute a valuable resource for quantum circuit design and millimeter-wave detection. Granular aluminum (GrAl) in the superconducting
regime 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.

Inductively shunted transmon qubit with tunable transverse and longitudinal coupling

  1. Susanne Richer,
  2. Nataliya Maleeva,
  3. Sebastian T. Skacel,
  4. Ioan M. Pop,
  5. and David DiVincenzo
We present the design of an inductively shunted transmon qubit with flux-tunable coupling to an embedded harmonic mode. This circuit construction offers the possibility to flux-choose
between pure transverse and pure longitudinal coupling, that is coupling to the σx or σz degree of freedom of the qubit. While transverse coupling is the coupling type that is most commonly used for superconducting qubits, the inherently different longitudinal coupling has some remarkable advantages both for readout and for the scalability of a circuit. Being able to choose between both kinds of coupling in the same circuit provides the flexibility to use one for coupling to the next qubit and one for readout, or vice versa. We provide a detailed analysis of the system’s behavior using realistic parameters, along with a proposal for the physical implementation of a prototype device.

An argon ion beam milling process for native AlOx layers enabling coherent superconducting contacts

  1. Lukas Grünhaupt,
  2. Uwe von Lüpke,
  3. Daria Gusenkova,
  4. Sebastian T. Skacel,
  5. Nataliya Maleeva,
  6. Steffen Schlör,
  7. Alexander Bilmes,
  8. Hannes Rotzinger,
  9. Alexey V. Ustinov,
  10. Martin Weides,
  11. and Ioan M. Pop
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 cleaning
process 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.