The ability to control the direction of scattered light in integrated devices is crucial to provide the flexibility and scalability for a wide range of on-chip applications, such as
integrated photonics, quantum information processing and nonlinear optics. In the optical and microwave frequency ranges tunable directionality can be achieved by applying external magnetic fields, that modify optical selection rules, by using nonlinear effects, or interactions with vibrations. However, these approaches are less suitable to control propagation of microwave photons inside integrated superconducting quantum devices, that is highly desirable. Here, we demonstrate tunable directional scattering with just two transmon qubits coupled to a transmission line based on periodically modulated transition frequency. By changing the symmetry of the modulation, governed by the relative phase between the local modulation tones, we achieve directional forward or backward photon scattering.
The rapid progress in quantum information processing leads to a rising demand for devices to control the propagation of electromagnetic wave pulses and to ultimately realize a universal
and efficient quantum memory. While in recent years significant progress has been made to realize slow light and quantum memories with atoms at optical frequencies, superconducting circuits in the microwave domain still lack such devices. Here, we demonstrate slowing down electromagnetic waves in a superconducting metamaterial composed of eight qubits coupled to a common waveguide, forming a waveguide quantum electrodynamics system. We analyze two complementary approaches, one relying on dressed states of the Autler-Townes splitting, and the other based on a tailored dispersion profile using the qubits tunability. Our time-resolved experiments show reduced group velocities of down to a factor of about 1500 smaller than in vacuum. Depending on the method used, the speed of light can be controlled with an additional microwave tone or an effective qubit detuning. Our findings demonstrate high flexibility of superconducting circuits to realize custom band structures and open the door to microwave dispersion engineering in the quantum regime.
Recent discoveries in topological physics hold a promise for disorder-robust quantum systems and technologies. Topological states provide the crucial ingredient of such systems featuring
increased robustness to disorder and imperfections. Here, we use an array of superconducting qubits to engineer a one-dimensional topologically nontrivial quantum metamaterial. By performing microwave spectroscopy of the fabricated array, we experimentally observe the spectrum of elementary excitations. We find not only the single-photon topological states but also the bands of exotic bound photon pairs arising due to the inherent anharmonicity of qubits. Furthermore, we detect the signatures of the two-photon bound edge-localized state which hints towards interaction-induced localization in our system. Our work demonstrates an experimental implementation of the topological model with attractive photon-photon interaction in a quantum metamaterial.
In this work, we experimentally study a metamaterial made of eight superconducting transmon qubits with local frequency control coupled to the mode continuum of a superconducting waveguide.
By consecutively tuning the qubits to a common resonance frequency we observe the formation of super- and subradiant states as well as the emergence of a polaritonic bandgap. Making use of the qubits strong intrinsic quantum nonlinearity we study the saturation of the collective modes with increasing photon number and electromagnetically induce a transparency window in the bandgap region of the ensemble, allowing to directly control the band structure of the array. The moderately scaled circuit of this work extends experiments with one and two qubits towards a full-blown quantum metamaterial, thus paving the way for large-scale applications in superconducting waveguide quantum electrodynamics.