We show that it is theoretically possible to use higher energy levels for storing and controlling two qubits within a superconducting transmon. This is done by identifying energy levelsas product states between multiple effecitve qubits. As a proof of concept we realise a complete set of gates necessary for universal computing by numerically optimising control pulses for single qubit gates on each of the qubits, entangling gates between the two qubits in one transmon, and an entangling gate between two qubits from two coupled transmons. The optimisation considers parameters which could make it possible to validate this experimentally. With these control pulses it is in principle possible to double the number of available qubits without any overhead in hardware. The additional qubits could be used in algorithms which need many short-living qubits such as syndrom qubits in error correction or by embedding effecitve higher connectivity in qubit networks.

Efforts to scale-up quantum computation have reached a point where the principal limiting factor is not the number of qubits, but the entangling gate infidelity. However, a highly detailedsystem characterization required to understand the underlying errors is an arduous process and impractical with increasing chip size. Open-loop optimal control techniques allow for the improvement of gates but are limited by the models they are based on. To rectify the situation, we provide a new integrated open-source tool-set for Control, Calibration and Characterization (C3), capable of open-loop pulse optimization, model-free calibration, model fitting and refinement. We present a methodology to combine these tools to find a quantitatively accurate system model, high-fidelity gates and an approximate error budget, all based on a high-performance, feature-rich simulator. We illustrate our methods using fixed-frequency superconducting qubits for which we learn model parameters to an accuracy of <1% and derive a coherence limited cross-resonance (CR) gate that achieves 99.6% fidelity without need for calibration. [/expand]

Metamaterial resonant structures made from arrays of superconducting lumped circuit elements can exhibit microwave mode spectra with left-handed dispersion, resulting in a high densityof modes in the same frequency range where superconducting qubits are typically operated, as well as a bandgap at lower frequencies that extends down to dc. Using this novel regime for multi-mode circuit quantum electrodynamics, we have performed a series of measurements of such a superconducting metamaterial resonator coupled to a flux-tunable transmon qubit. Through microwave measurements of the metamaterial, we have observed the coupling of the qubit to each of the modes that it passes through. Using a separate readout resonator, we have probed the qubit dispersively and characterized the qubit energy relaxation as a function of frequency, which is strongly affected by the Purcell effect in the presence of the dense mode spectrum. Additionally, we have investigated the ac Stark shift of the qubit as the photon number in the various metamaterial modes is varied. The ability to tailor the dense mode spectrum through the choice of circuit parameters and manipulate the photonic state of the metamaterial through interactions with qubits makes this a promising platform for analog quantum simulation and quantum memories.

Reaching high speed, high fidelity qubit operations requires precise control over the shape of the underlying pulses. For weakly anharmonic systems, such as superconducting transmonqubits, short gates lead to leakage to states outside of the computational subspace. Control pulses designed with open-loop optimal control may reduce such leakage. However, model inaccuracies can severely limit the usability of such pulses. We implemented a closed-loop optimization that simultaneously adapts all control parameters based on measurements of a cost function built from Clifford gates. By parameterizing pulses with a piecewise-constant representation that matches the capabilities of the control hardware we create a 4.16 ns single-qubit pulse with 99.76% fidelity and 0.044% leakage. This is a seven-fold reduction of the leakage rate of the best DRAG pulse we have calibrated at such short durations on the same system.

We propose a detector of microwave photons which can distinguish the vacuum state, one-photon state, and the states with two or more photons. Its operation is based on the two-photontransition in a biased Josephson junction and detection occurs when it switches from a superconducting to a normal state. We model the detector theoretically. The detector performs with more than 90% success probability in several microseconds. It is sensitive for the 8.2GHz photons. The working frequency could be set at the design stage in the range from about 1GHz to 20GHz.

Common flux qubit readout schemes are qubit dominated, meaning they measure in the energy eigenbasis of the qubit. For various applications meausrements in a basis different from theactual energy eigenbasis are required. Here we present an indirect measurement protocol, which is detector dominated instead of qubit dominated, yielding a projective measurements in the persistent current basis for arbitrary bias points. We show that with our setup it is possible to perform a quantum nondemolition measurement (QND) in the persistent current basis at all flux bias points with fidelities reaching almost 100%.

Quantum simulations is a promising field where a controllable system is used to mimic another system of interest, whose properties one wants to investigate. One of the key issues forsuch simulations is the ability to control the environment the system couples to, be it to isolate the system or to engineer a tailored environment of interest. One strategy recently put forward for environment engineering is the use of metamaterials with negative index of refraction. Here we build on this concept and propose a circuit-QED simulation of many-body Hamiltonians using superlattice metamaterials. We give a detailed description of a superlattice transmission line coupled to an embedded qubit, and show how this system can be used to simulate the spin-boson model in regimes where analytical and numerical methods usually fail, e.g. the strong coupling regime.

Robust high-fidelity parity measurment is an important operation in many applications of quantum computing. In this work we show how in a circuit-QED architecture, one can measure parityin a single shot at very high contrast by taking advantage of the nonlinear behavior of a strongly driven microwave cavity coupled to one or multiple qubits. We work in a nonlinear dispersive regime treated in an exact dispersive transformation. We show that appropriate tuning of experimental parameters leads to very high contrast in the cavity and therefore to a high efficiency parity readout with a microwave photon counter or another amplitude detector. These tuning conditions are based on nonlinearity and are hence more robust than previously described linear tuning schemes. In the first part of the paper we show in detail how to achieve this for two qubit parity measurements and extend this to N qubits in the second part of the paper. We also study the QNDness of the protocol.

We present a Superconducting Planar ARchitecture for Quantum Simulations (SPARQS) intended to implement a scalable qubit layout for quantum simulators. To this end, we describe theiFREDKIN gate as a controlled entangler for the simulation of Fermionic systems that is advantageous if it can be directly implemented. Using optimal control, we show that and how this gate can be efficiently implemented in the SPARQS circuit, making it a promising platform and control scheme for quantum simulations. Such a quantum simulator can be built with current quantum technologies to advance the design of molecules and quantum materials.

The cross-resonant gate is an entangling gate for fixed frequency superconducting qubits introduced for untunable qubits. While being simple and extensible, it suffers from long durationand limited fidelity. Using two different optimal control algorithms, we probe the quantum speed limit for a CNOT gate in this system. We show that the ability to approach this limit depends strongly on the ansatz used to describe the optimal control pulse. A piecewise constant ansatz with a single carrier leads to an experimentally feasible pulse shape, shorter than the one currently used in experiments, but that remains relatively far from the speed limit. On the other hand, an ansatz based on the two dominant frequencies involved in the optimal control problem allows to generate an optimal solution more than twice as fast, in under 30ns. This comes close to the theoretical quantum speed limit, which we estimate at 15ns for typical circuit-QED parameters, which is more than an order of magnitude faster than current experimental microwave-driven realizations, and more than twice as fast as tunable direct-coupling experimental realizations.