Nonpairwise multi-qubit interactions present a useful resource for quantum information processors. Their implementation would facilitate more efficient quantum simulations of moleculesand combinatorial optimization problems, and they could simplify error suppression and error correction schemes. Here we present a superconducting circuit architecture in which a coupling module mediates 2-local and 3-local interactions between three flux qubits by design. The system Hamiltonian is estimated via multi-qubit pulse sequences that implement Ramsey-type interferometry between all neighboring excitation manifolds in the system. The 3-local interaction is coherently tunable over several MHz via the coupler flux biases and can be turned off, which is important for applications in quantum annealing, analog quantum simulation, and gate-model quantum computation.

As progress is made towards the first generation of error-corrected quantum computers, careful characterization of a processor’s noise environment will be crucial to designingtailored, low-overhead error correction protocols. While standard coherence metrics and characterization protocols such as T1 and T2, process tomography, and randomized benchmarking are now ubiquitous, these techniques provide only partial information about the dynamic multi-qubit loss channels responsible for processor errors, which can be described more fully by a Lindblad operator in the master equation formalism. Here, we introduce and experimentally demonstrate Lindblad Tomography, a hardware-agnostic characterization protocol for tomographically reconstructing the Hamiltonian and Lindblad operators of a quantum channel from an ensemble of time-domain measurements. Performing Lindblad Tomography on a small superconducting quantum processor, we show that this technique characterizes and accounts for state-preparation and measurement (SPAM) errors and allows one to place strong bounds on the degree of non-Markovianity in the channels of interest. Comparing the results of single- and two-qubit measurements on a superconducting quantum processor, we demonstrate that Lindblad Tomography can also be used to identify and quantify sources of crosstalk on quantum processors, such as the presence of always-on qubit-qubit interactions.

Increasing circuit complexity within quantum systems based on superconducting qubits necessitates high connectivity while retaining qubit coherence. Classical micro-electronic systemshave addressed interconnect density challenges by using 3D integration with interposers containing through-silicon vias (TSVs), but extending these integration techniques to superconducting quantum systems is challenging. Here, we discuss our approach for realizing high-aspect-ratio superconducting TSVs\textemdash 10 μm wide by 20 μm long by 200 μm deep\textemdash with densities of 100 electrically isolated TSVs per square millimeter. We characterize the DC and microwave performance of superconducting TSVs at cryogenic temperatures and demonstrate superconducting critical currents greater than 20 mA. These high-aspect-ratio, high critical current superconducting TSVs will enable high-density vertical signal routing within superconducting quantum processors.

As superconducting qubit circuits become more complex, addressing a large array of qubits becomes a challenging engineering problem. Dense arrays of qubits benefit from, and may require,access via the third dimension to alleviate interconnect crowding. Through-silicon vias (TSVs) represent a promising approach to three-dimensional (3D) integration in superconducting qubit arrays — provided they are compact enough to support densely-packed qubit systems without compromising qubit performance or low-loss signal and control routing. In this work, we demonstrate the integration of superconducting, high-aspect ratio TSVs — 10 μm wide by 20 μm long by 200 μm deep — with superconducting qubits. We utilize TSVs for baseband control and high-fidelity microwave readout of qubits using a two-chip, bump-bonded architecture. We also validate the fabrication of qubits directly upon the surface of a TSV-integrated chip. These key 3D integration milestones pave the way for the control and readout of high-density superconducting qubit arrays using superconducting TSVs.

As designs for superconducting qubits become more complex, 3D integration of two or more vertically bonded chips will become necessary to enable increased density and connectivity.Precise control of the spacing between these chips is required for accurate prediction of circuit performance. In this paper, we demonstrate an improvement in the planarity of bonded superconducting qubit chips while retaining device performance by utilizing hard-stop silicon spacer posts. These silicon spacers are defined by etching several microns into a silicon substrate and are compatible with 3D-integrated qubit fabrication. This includes fabrication of Josephson junctions, superconducting air-bridge crossovers, underbump metallization and indium bumps. To qualify the integrated process, we demonstrate high-quality factor resonators on the etched surface and measure qubit coherence (T1, T2,echo > 40 {\mu}s) in the presence of silicon posts as near as 350 {\mu}m to the qubit.

Over the past two decades, the performance of superconducting quantum circuits has tremendously improved. The progress of superconducting qubits enabled a new industry branch to emergefrom global technology enterprises to quantum computing startups. Here, an overview of superconducting quantum circuit microwave control is presented. Furthermore, we discuss one of the persistent engineering challenges in the field, how to control the electromagnetic environment of increasingly complex superconducting circuits such that they are simultaneously protected and efficiently controllable.

Superconducting quantum computing architectures comprise resonators and qubits that experience energy loss due to two-level systems (TLS) in bulk and interfacial dielectrics. Understandingthese losses is critical to improving performance in superconducting circuits. In this work, we present a method for quantifying the TLS losses of different bulk and interfacial dielectrics present in superconducting coplanar waveguide (CPW) resonators. By combining statistical characterization of sets of specifically designed CPW resonators on isotropically etched silicon substrates with detailed electromagnetic modeling, we determine the separate loss contributions from individual material interfaces and bulk dielectrics. This technique for analyzing interfacial TLS losses can be used to guide targeted improvements to qubits, resonators, and their superconducting fabrication processes.

Improving the performance of superconducting qubits and resonators generally results from a combination of materials and fabrication process improvements and design modifications thatreduce device sensitivity to residual losses. One instance of this approach is to use trenching into the device substrate in combination with superconductors and dielectrics with low intrinsic losses to improve quality factors and coherence times. Here we demonstrate titanium nitride coplanar waveguide resonators with mean quality factors exceeding two million and controlled trenching reaching 2.2 μm into the silicon substrate. Additionally, we measure sets of resonators with a range of sizes and trench depths and compare these results with finite-element simulations to demonstrate quantitative agreement with a model of interface dielectric loss. We then apply this analysis to determine the extent to which trenching can improve resonator performance.

Quantum annealing is an optimization technique which potentially leverages quantum tunneling to enhance computational performance. Existing quantum annealers use superconducting fluxqubits with short coherence times, limited primarily by the use of large persistent currents Ip. Here, we examine an alternative approach, using qubits with smaller Ip and longer coherence times. We demonstrate tunable coupling, a basic building block for quantum annealing, between two flux qubits with small (∼50 nA) persistent currents. Furthermore, we characterize qubit coherence as a function of coupler setting and investigate the effect of flux noise in the coupler loop on qubit coherence. Our results provide insight into the available design space for next-generation quantum annealers with improved coherence.

Dynamical error suppression techniques are commonly used to improve coherence in quantum systems. They reduce dephasing errors by applying control pulses designed to reverse erroneouscoherent evolution driven by environmental noise. However, such methods cannot correct for irreversible processes such as energy relaxation. In this work, we investigate a complementary, stochastic approach to reducing errors: instead of deterministically reversing the unwanted qubit evolution, we use control pulses to shape the noise environment dynamically. In the context of superconducting qubits, we implement a pumping sequence to reduce the number of unpaired electrons (quasiparticles) in close proximity to the device. We report a 70% reduction in the quasiparticle density, resulting in a threefold enhancement in qubit relaxation times, and a comparable reduction in coherence variability.