The reproducibility of qubit parameters is a challenge for scaling up superconducting quantum processors. Signal crosstalk imposes constraints on the frequency separation between neighboring
qubits. The frequency uncertainty of transmon qubits arising from the fabrication process is attributed to deviations in the Josephson junction area, tunnel barrier thickness, and the qubit capacitor. We decrease the sensitivity to these variations by fabricating larger Josephson junctions and reduce the wafer-level standard deviation in resistance down to 2%. We characterize 32 identical transmon qubits and demonstrate the reproducibility of the qubit frequencies with a 40 MHz standard deviation (i.e. 1%) with qubit quality factors exceeding 2 million. We perform two-level-system (TLS) spectroscopy and observe no significant increase in the number of TLSs causing qubit relaxation. We further show by simulation that for our parametric-gate architecture, and accounting only for errors caused by the uncertainty of the qubit frequency, we can scale up to 100 qubits with an average of only 3 collisions between quantum-gate transition frequencies, assuming 2% crosstalk and 99.9% target gate fidelity.
We investigate the amplification of a microwave probe signal by a superconducting artificial atom, a transmon, strongly coupled to the end of a one-dimensional semi-infinite transmission
line. The end of the transmission line acts as a mirror for microwave fields. Due to the weak anharmonicity of the artificial atom, a strong pump field creates multi-photon excitations among the dressed states. Transitions between these dressed states, Rabi sidebands, give rise to either amplification or attenuation of the weak probe. We obtain a maximum amplitude amplification of about 18 %, higher than in any previous experiment with a single artificial atom, due to constructive interference between Rabi sidebands. We also characterize the noise properties of the system by measuring the spectrum of spontaneous emission.
High-fidelity and rapid readout of a qubit state is key to quantum computing and communication, and it is a prerequisite for quantum error correction. We present a readout scheme for
superconducting qubits that combines two microwave techniques: applying a shelving technique to the qubit that effectively increases the energy-relaxation time, and a two-tone excitation of the readout resonator to distinguish among qubit populations in higher energy levels. Using a machine-learning algorithm to post-process the two-tone measurement results further improves the qubit-state assignment fidelity. We perform single-shot frequency-multiplexed qubit readout, with a 140ns readout time, and demonstrate 99.5% assignment fidelity for two-state readout and 96.9% for three-state readout – without using a quantum-limited amplifier.
While all quantum algorithms can be expressed in terms of single-qubit and two-qubit gates, more expressive gate sets can help reduce the algorithmic depth. This is important in the
presence of gate errors, especially those due to decoherence. Using superconducting qubits, we have implemented a three-qubit gate by simultaneously applying two-qubit operations, thereby realizing a three-body interaction. This method straightforwardly extends to other quantum hardware architectures, requires only a „firmware“ upgrade to implement, and is faster than its constituent two-qubit gates. The three-qubit gate represents an entire family of operations, creating flexibility in quantum-circuit compilation. We demonstrate a gate fidelity of 97.90%, which is near the coherence limit of our device. We then generate two classes of entangled states, the GHZ and W states, by applying the new gate only once; in comparison, decompositions into the standard gate set would have a two-qubit gate depth of two and three, respectively. Finally, we combine characterization methods and analyze the experimental and statistical errors on the fidelity of the gates and of the target states.
We have integrated single and coupled superconducting transmon qubits into flip-chip modules. Each module consists of two chips – one quantum chip and one control chip –
that are bump-bonded together. We demonstrate time-averaged coherence times exceeding 90μs, single-qubit gate fidelities exceeding 99.9%, and two-qubit gate fidelities above 98.6%. We also present device design methods and discuss the sensitivity of device parameters to variation in interchip spacing. Notably, the additional flip-chip fabrication steps do not degrade the qubit performance compared to our baseline state-of-the-art in single-chip, planar circuits. This integration technique can be extended to the realisation of quantum processors accommodating hundreds of qubits in one module as it offers adequate input/output wiring access to all qubits and couplers.
Hosting non-classical states of light in three-dimensional microwave cavities has emerged as a promising paradigm for continuous-variable quantum information processing. Here we experimentally
demonstrate high-fidelity generation of a range of Wigner-negative states useful for quantum computation, such as Schrödinger-cat states, binomial states, Gottesman-Kitaev-Preskill (GKP) states, as well as cubic phase states. The latter states have been long sought after in quantum optics and were never achieved experimentally before. To do so, we use a sequence of interleaved selective number-dependent arbitrary phase (SNAP) gates and displacements. We optimize the state preparation in two steps. First we use a gradient-descent algorithm to optimize the parameters of the SNAP and displacement gates. Then we optimize the envelope of the pulses implementing the SNAP gates. Our results show that this way of creating highly non-classical states in a harmonic oscillator is robust to fluctuations of the system parameters such as the qubit frequency and the dispersive shift.
We observe the continuous emission of photons into a waveguide from a superconducting qubit without the application of an external drive. To explain this observation, we build a two-bath
model where the qubit couples simultaneously to a cold bath (the waveguide) and a hot bath (a secondary environment). Our results show that the thermal-photon occupation of the hot bath is up to 0.14 photons, 35 times larger than the cold waveguide, leading to nonequilibrium heat transport with a power of up to 132 zW, as estimated from the qubit emission spectrum. By adding more isolation between the sample output and the first cold amplifier in the output line, the heat transport is strongly suppressed. Our interpretation is that the hot bath may arise from active two-level systems being excited by noise from the output line. We also apply a coherent drive, and use the waveguide to measure thermodynamic work and heat, suggesting waveguide spectroscopy is a useful means to study quantum heat engines and refrigerators. Finally, based on the theoretical model, we propose how a similar setup can be used as a noise spectrometer which provides a new solution for calibrating the background noise of hybrid quantum systems.
We investigate three types of amplification processes for light fields coupling to an atom near the end of a one-dimensional semi-infinite waveguide. We consider two setups where a
drive creates population inversion in the bare or dressed basis of a three-level atom and one setup where the amplification is due to higher-order processes in a driven two-level atom. In all cases, the end of the waveguide acts as a mirror for the light. We find that this enhances the amplification in two ways compared to the same setups in an open waveguide. Firstly, the mirror forces all output from the atom to travel in one direction instead of being split up into two output channels. Secondly, interference due to the mirror enables tuning of the ratio of relaxation rates for different transitions in the atom to increase population inversion. We quantify the enhancement in amplification due to these factors and show that it can be demonstrated for standard parameters in experiments with superconducting quantum circuits.
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.
Present-day, noisy, small or intermediate-scale quantum processors—although far from fault-tolerant—support the execution of heuristic quantum algorithms, which might enable
a quantum advantage, for example, when applied to combinatorial optimization problems. On small-scale quantum processors, validations of such algorithms serve as important technology demonstrators. We implement the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA) on our hardware platform, consisting of two transmon qubits and one parametrically modulated coupler. We solve small instances of the NP-complete exact-cover problem, with 96.6\% success probability, by iterating the algorithm up to level two.