A distributed quantum computing network requires a quantum communication channel between spatially separated processing units. In superconducting circuits, such a channel can be implementedbased on propagating microwave photons to encode and transfer quantum information between an emitter and a receiver. However, traveling microwave photons can be lost during the transmission, leading to the failure of information transfer. Heralding protocols can be used to detect such photon losses. In this work, we propose such a protocol and experimentally demonstrate a frequency-bin encoding method of microwave photonic modes using superconducting circuits. We deterministically encode the quantum information from a superconducting qubit by simultaneously emitting its information into two photonic modes at different frequencies, with a process fidelity of 90.4%. The frequency-bin-encoded photonic modes can be used, at the receiver processor, to detect the occurrence of photon loss. Our work thus provides a reliable method to implement high-fidelity quantum state transfer in a distributed quantum computing network, incorporating error detection to enhance performance and accuracy.

A major challenge for scaling up superconducting quantum computers is unwanted couplings between qubits, which lead to always-on ZZ couplings that impact gate fidelities by shiftingenergy levels conditional on qubit states. To tackle this challenge, we introduce analytical and numerical techniques, including a diagrammatic perturbation theory and a state-assignment algorithm, as well as a refined intuitive picture for the workings of the ZZ coupling. Together, these tools enable a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind the ZZ coupling and facilitate finding parameter regions of weak and strong ZZ coupling. We showcase these techniques for a system consisting of two fixed-frequency transmon qubits connected by a flux-tunable transmon coupler. There, we find three types of parameter regions with zero or near-zero ZZ coupling, all of which are accessible with current technology. We furthermore find regions of strong ZZ coupling nearby, which may be used to implement adiabatic controlled-phase gates. Our methods are applicable to many types of qubits and open up for the design of large-scale quantum computers with improved gate fidelities.

In quantum information processing, two primary research directions have emerged: one based on discrete variables (DV) and the other on the structure of quantum states in a continuous-variable(CV) space. It is increasingly recognized that integrating these two approaches could unlock new potentials, overcoming the inherent limitations of each. Here, we show that such a DV-CV hybrid approach, applied to superconducting Kerr parametric oscillators (KPOs), enables us to entangle a pair of Schrödinger’s cat states by two straightforward methods. The first method involves the entanglement-preserving and deterministic conversion between Bell states in the Fock-state basis (DV encoding) and those in the cat-state basis (CV encoding). This method would allow us to construct quantum networks in the cat-state basis using conventional schemes originally developed for the Fock-state basis. In the second method, the iSWAP‾‾‾‾‾‾‾√ gate operation is implemented between two cat states following the procedure used for Fock-state encoding. This DV-like gate operation on CV encoding not only completes the demonstration of a universal quantum gate set in a KPO system but also enables faster and simpler gate operations compared to previous SWAP gate implementations on bosonic modes. Our work offers a simple yet powerful application of DV-CV hybridization while also highlighting the scalability of this planar KPO system.

Quantum processors require a signal-delivery architecture with high addressability (low crosstalk) to ensure high performance already at the scale of dozens of qubits. Signal crosstalkcauses inadvertent driving of quantum gates, which will adversely affect quantum-gate fidelities in scaled-up devices. Here, we demonstrate packaged flip-chip superconducting quantum processors with signal-crosstalk performance competitive with those reported in other platforms. For capacitively coupled qubit-drive lines, we find on-resonant crosstalk better than -27 dB (average -37 dB). For inductively coupled magnetic-flux-drive lines, we find less than 0.13 % direct-current flux crosstalk (average 0.05 %). These observed crosstalk levels are adequately small and indicate a decreasing trend with increasing distance, which is promising for further scaling up to larger numbers of qubits. We discuss the implication of our results for the design of a low-crosstalk, on-chip signal delivery architecture, including the influence of a shielding tunnel structure, potential sources of crosstalk, and estimation of crosstalk-induced qubit-gate error in scaled-up quantum processors.

The reproducibility of qubit parameters is a challenge for scaling up superconducting quantum processors. Signal crosstalk imposes constraints on the frequency separation between neighboringqubits. 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 transmissionline. 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 forsuperconducting 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 thepresence 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 experimentallydemonstrate 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.