The fabrication of superconducting circuits requires multiple deposition, etch and cleaning steps, each possibly introducing material property changes and microscopic defects. In this
work, we specifically investigate the process of argon milling, a potentially coherence limiting step, using niobium and aluminum superconducting resonators as a proxy for surface-limited behavior of qubits. We find that niobium microwave resonators exhibit an order of magnitude decrease in quality-factors after surface argon milling, while aluminum resonators are resilient to the same process. Extensive analysis of the niobium surface shows no change in the suboxide composition due to argon milling, while two-tone spectroscopy measurements reveal an increase in two-level system electrical dipole moments, indicating a structurally altered niobium oxide hosting larger two-level system defects. However, a short dry etch can fully recover the argon milling induced losses on niobium, offering a potential route towards state-of-the-art overlap Josephson junction qubits with niobium circuitry.
As the superconducting qubit platform matures towards ever-larger scales in the race towards a practical quantum computer, limitations due to qubit inhomogeneity through lack of process
control become apparent. To benefit from the advanced process control in industry-scale CMOS fabrication facilities, different processing methods will be required. In particular, the double-angle evaporation and lift-off techniques used for current, state-of-the art superconducting qubits are generally incompatible with modern day manufacturable processes. Here, we demonstrate a fully CMOS compatible qubit fabrication method, and show results from overlap Josephson junction devices with long coherence and relaxation times, on par with the state-of-the-art. We experimentally verify that Argon milling – the critical step during junction fabrication – and a subtractive etch process nevertheless result in qubits with average qubit energy relaxation times T1 reaching 70 μs, with maximum values exceeding 100 μs. Furthermore, we show that our results are still limited by surface losses and not, crucially, by junction losses. The presented fabrication process therefore heralds an important milestone towards a manufacturable 300 mm CMOS process for high-coherence superconducting qubits and has the potential to advance the scaling of superconducting device architectures.
Engineering light-matter interactions at the quantum level has been central to the pursuit of quantum optics for decades. Traditionally, this has been done by coupling emitters, typically
natural atoms and ions, to quantized electromagnetic fields in optical and microwave cavities. In these systems, the emitter is approximated as an idealized dipole, as its physical size is orders of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of light. Recently, artificial atoms made from superconducting circuits have enabled new frontiers in light-matter coupling, including the study of „giant“ atoms which cannot be approximated as simple dipoles. Here, we explore a new implementation of a giant artificial atom, formed from a transmon qubit coupled to propagating microwaves at multiple points along an open transmission line. The nature of this coupling allows the qubit radiation field to interfere with itself leading to some striking giant-atom effects. For instance, we observe strong frequency-dependent couplings of the qubit energy levels to the electromagnetic modes of the transmission line. Combined with the ability to in situ tune the qubit energy levels, we show that we can modify the relative coupling rates of multiple qubit transitions by more than an order of magnitude. By doing so, we engineer a metastable excited state, allowing us to operate the giant transmon as an effective lambda system where we clearly demonstrate electromagnetically induced transparency.
Spontaneous parametric downconversion (SPDC) has been a key enabling technology in exploring quantum phenomena and their applications for decades. For instance, traditional SPDC, which
splits a high energy pump photon into two lower energy photons, is a common way to produce entangled photon pairs. Since the early realizations of SPDC, researchers have thought to generalize it to higher order, e.g., to produce entangled photon triplets. However, directly generating photon triplets through a single SPDC process has remained elusive. Here, using a flux-pumped superconducting parametric cavity, we demonstrate direct three-photon SPDC, with photon triplets generated in a single cavity mode or split between multiple modes. With strong pumping, the states can be quite bright, with flux densities exceeding 60 photon/s/Hz. The observed states are strongly non-Gaussian, which has important implications for potential applications. In the single-mode case, we observe a triangular star-shaped distribution of quadrature voltages, indicative of the long-predicted „star state“. The observed star state shows strong third-order correlations, as expected for a state generated by a cubic Hamiltonian. By pumping at the sum frequency of multiple modes, we observe strong three-body correlations between multiple modes, strikingly, in the absence of second-order correlations. We further analyze the third-order correlations under mode transformations by the symplectic symmetry group, showing that the observed transformation properties serve to „fingerprint“ the specific cubic Hamiltonian that generates them. The observed non-Gaussian, third-order correlations represent an important step forward in quantum optics and may have a strong impact on quantum communication with microwave fields as well as continuous-variable quantum computation.
In this Letter, we demonstrate the generation of multimode entangled states of propagating microwaves. The entangled states are generated by parametrically pumping a multimode superconducting
cavity. By combining different pump frequencies, applied simultaneously to the device, we can produce different entanglement structures in a programable fashion. The Gaussian output states are fully characterized by measuring the full covariance matrices of the modes. The covariance matrices are absolutely calibrated using an in situ microwave calibration source, a shot noise tunnel junction. Applying a variety of entanglement measures, we demonstrate both full inseparability and genuine tripartite entanglement of the states. Our method is easily extensible to more modes.
We demonstrate the full functionality of a circuit that generates single microwave photons on-demand, with a wavepacket that can be modulated with a near-arbitrary shape. We achieve
such a high tunability by coupling a superconducting qubit near the end of a semi-infinite transmission line. A DC-SQUID shunts the line to ground and is employed to modify the spatial dependence of the electromagnetic mode structure in the transmission line. This allows us to couple and decouple the qubit from the line, shaping its emission rate on fast-time scales. Our decoupling scheme is applicable to all types of superconducting qubits and other solid state systems and can be generalized to multiple qubits as well as to resonators.