Characterizing cryogenic amplifiers with a matched temperature-variable noise source

  1. Slawomir Simbierowicz,
  2. Visa Vesterinen,
  3. Joshua Milem,
  4. Aleksi Lintunen,
  5. Mika Oksanen,
  6. Leif Roschier,
  7. Leif Grönberg,
  8. Juha Hassel,
  9. David Gunnarsson,
  10. and Russell E. Lake
We present a cryogenic microwave noise source with characteristic impedance of 50 Ω that can be installed in a coaxial line of a cryostat. The bath temperature of the noise source
is continuously variable between 0.1 K and 5 K without causing significant back-action heating on the sample space. As a proof-of-concept experiment, we perform Y-factor measurements of an amplifier cascade that includes a traveling wave parametric amplifier and a commercial high electron mobility transistor amplifier. We observe system noise temperatures as low as 680+20−200 mK at 5.7 GHz corresponding to 1.5+0.1−0.7 excess photons. The system we present has immediate applications in the validation of solid-state qubit readout lines.

Dielectric losses in multi-layer Josephson junction qubits

  1. David Gunnarsson,
  2. Juha-Matti Pirkkalainen,
  3. Jian Li,
  4. Gheorghe Sorin Paraoanu,
  5. Pertti Hakonen,
  6. Mika Sillanpää,
  7. and Mika Prunnila
We have measured the excited state lifetimes in Josephson junction phase and transmon qubits, all of which were fabricated with the same scalable multi-layer process. We have compared
the lifetimes of phase qubits before and after removal of the isolating dielectric, SiNx, and find a four-fold improvement of the relaxation time after the removal. Together with the results from the transmon qubit and measurements on coplanar waveguide resonators, these measurements indicate that the lifetimes are limited by losses from the dielectric constituents of the qubits. We have extracted the individual loss contributions from the dielectrics in the tunnel junction barrier, AlOx, the isolating dielectric, SiNx, and the substrate, Si/SiO2, by weighing the total loss with the parts of electric field over the different dielectric materials. Our results agree well and complement the findings from other studies, demonstrating that superconducting qubits can be used as a reliable tool for high-frequency characterization of dielectric materials. We conclude with a discussion of how changes in design and material choice could improve qubit lifetimes up to a factor of four.