Degenerate parametric amplifiers (DPAs) exhibit the unique property of phase-sensitive gain and can be used to noiselessly amplify small signals or squeeze field fluctuations beneaththe vacuum level. In the microwave domain, these amplifiers have been utilized to measure qubits in elementary quantum processors, search for dark matter, facilitate high-sensitivity spin resonance spectroscopy and have even been proposed as the building blocks for a measurement based quantum computer. Until now, microwave DPAs have almost exclusively been made from nonlinear Josephson junctions, which exhibit high-order nonlinearities that limit their dynamic range and squeezing potential. In this work we investigate a new microwave DPA that exploits a nonlinearity engineered from kinetic inductance. The device has a simple design and displays a dynamic range that is four orders of magnitude greater than state-of-the-art Josephson DPAs. We measure phase sensitive gains up to 50 dB and demonstrate a near-quantum-limited noise performance. Additionally, we show that the higher-order nonlinearities that limit other microwave DPAs are almost non-existent for this amplifier, which allows us to demonstrate its exceptional squeezing potential by measuring the deamplification of coherent states by as much as 26 dB.

The development of robust architectures capable of large-scale fault-tolerant quantum computation should consider both their quantum error-correcting codes, and the underlying physicalqubits upon which they are built, in tandem. Following this design principle we demonstrate remarkable error correction performance by concatenating the XZZX surface code with Kerr-cat qubits. We contrast several variants of fault-tolerant systems undergoing different circuit noise models that reflect the physics of Kerr-cat qubits. Our simulations show that our system is scalable below a threshold gate infidelity of pCX∼6.5% within a physically reasonable parameter regime, where pCX is the infidelity of the noisiest gate of our system; the controlled-not gate. This threshold can be reached in a superconducting circuit architecture with a Kerr-nonlinearity of 10MHz, a ∼6.25 photon cat qubit, single-photon lifetime of ≳64μs, and thermal photon population ≲8%. Such parameters are routinely achieved in superconducting circuits.

Detecting traveling photons is an essential primitive for many quantum information processing tasks. We introduce a single-photon detector design operating in the microwave domain,based on a weakly nonlinear metamaterial where the nonlinearity is provided by a large number of Josephson junctions. The combination of weak nonlinearity and large spatial extent circumvents well-known obstacles limiting approaches based on a localized Kerr medium. Using numerical many-body simulations we show that the single-photon detection fidelity increases with the length of the metamaterial to approach one at experimentally realistic lengths. A remarkable feature of the detector is that the metamaterial approach allows for a large detection bandwidth. In stark contrast to conventional photon detectors operating in the optical domain, the photon is not destroyed by the detection and the photon wavepacket is minimally disturbed. The detector design we introduce offers new possibilities for quantum information processing, quantum optics and metrology in the microwave frequency domain.

Kitaev’s 0-π qubit encodes quantum information in two protected, near-degenerate states of a superconducting quantum circuit. In a recent work, we have shown that the coherencetimes of a realistic 0-π device can surpass that of today’s best superconducting qubits [Groszkowski et al., New Journal of Physics 20 043053 (2018)]. Here we address controllability of the 0-π qubit. Specifically, we investigate the potential for dispersive control and readout, and introduce a new, fast and high-fidelity single-qubit gate that can interpolate smoothly between logical X and Z. We characterize the action of this gate using a multi-level treatment of the device, and analyze the impact of circuit element disorder and deviations in control and circuit parameters from their optimal values. Furthermore, we propose a cooling scheme to decrease the photon shot-noise dephasing rate, which we previously found to limit the coherence times of 0-π devices within reach of current experiments. Using this approach, we predict coherence time enhancements between one and three orders of magnitude, depending on parameter regime.

The realization of a high-efficiency microwave single photon detector is a long-standing problem in the field of microwave quantum optics. Here we propose a quantum non-demolition,high-efficiency photon detector that can readily be implemented in present state-of-the-art circuit quantum electrodynamics. This scheme works in a continuous fashion, gaining information about the arrival time of the photon as well as about its presence. The key insight that allows to circumvent the usual limitations imposed by measurement back-action is the use of long-lived dark states in a small ensemble of inhomogeneous artificial atoms to increase the interaction time between the photon and the measurement device. Using realistic system parameters, we show that large detection fidelities are possible.

Quantum annealing aims to solve combinatorial optimization problems mapped on to Ising interactions between quantum spins. A critical factor that limits the success of a quantum annealeris its sensitivity to noise, and intensive research is consequently focussed towards developing noise-resilient annealers. Here we propose a new paradigm for quantum annealing with a scalable network of all-to-all connected, two-photon driven Kerr-nonlinear resonators. Each of these resonators encode an Ising spin in a robust degenerate subspace formed by two coherent states of opposite phases. The fully-connected optimization problem is mapped onto local fields driving the resonators, which are themselves connected by local four-body interactions. We describe an adiabatic annealing protocol in this system and analyze its performance in the presence of photon loss. Numerical simulations indicate substantial resilience to this noise channel, making it a promising platform for implementing a large scale quantum Ising machine. Finally, we propose a realistic implementation of this scheme in circuit QED.

We develop a quantum theory describing the input-output properties of Josephson traveling wave parametric amplifiers. This allows us to show how such a device can be used as a sourceof nonclassical radiation, and how dispersion engineering can be used to tailor gain profiles and squeezing spectra with attractive properties, ranging from genuinely broadband spectra to „squeezing combs“ consisting of a number of discrete entangled quasimodes. The device’s output field can be used to generate a multi-mode squeezed bath–a powerful resource for dissipative quantum state preparation. In particular, we show how it can be used to generate continuous variable cluster states that are universal for measurement based quantum computing. The favourable scaling properties of the preparation scheme makes it a promising path towards continuous variable quantum computing in the microwave regime.