Electromagnetic filtering is essential for the coherent control, operation and readout of superconducting quantum circuits at milliKelvin temperatures. The suppression of spurious modesaround the transition frequencies of a few GHz is well understood and mainly achieved by on-chip and package considerations. Noise photons of higher frequencies — beyond the pair-breaking energies — cause decoherence, and require spectral engineering before reaching the packaged quantum chip. The external wires through the refrigerator down to the quantum circuit provides a direct path, and this article contains quantitative analysis and experimental data for noise photon flux through the coaxial filtered wiring. The coaxial cable attenuation and noise photon flux for typical wiring configurations are provided, and compact cryogenic microwave low-pass filters with CR-110 and Esorb-230 absorptive dielectric fillings along with experimental data at room and cryogenic temperatures and up to 70 GHz presented. The filter cut-off frequencies between 1 to 10 GHz are set by the filter length, and the roll-off is material dependent. The relative dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability for the Esorb-230 material in the pair-breaking frequency range from 75 to 110 GHz are measured, and the filter properties in this frequency range are calculated. The filter contribution to the noise photon flux implies a dramatic reduction, proving their usefulness for experiments with superconducting quantum systems.

We perform an experimental and numerical study of dielectric loss in superconducting microwave resonators at low temperature. Dielectric loss, due to two-level systems, is a limitingfactor in several applications, e.g. superconducting qubits, Josephson parametric amplifiers, microwave kinetic-inductance detectors, and superconducting single-photon detectors. Our devices are made of disordered NbN, which, due to magnetic-field penetration, necessitates 3D finite-element simulation of the Maxwell–London equations at microwave frequencies to accurately model the current density and electric field distribution. From the field distribution, we compute the geometric filling factors of the lossy regions in our resonator structures and fit the experimental data to determine the intrinsic loss tangents of its interfaces and dielectrics. We emphasise that the loss caused by a spin-on-glass resist such as hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ), used for ultrahigh lithographic resolution relevant to the fabrication of nanowires, and find that, when used, HSQ is the dominant source of loss, with a loss tangent of δiHSQ=8×10−3.

We benchmark the decoherence of superconducting qubits to examine the temporal stability of energy-relaxation and dephasing. By collecting statistics during measurements spanning multipledays, we find the mean parameters T1 = 49 μs and T∗2= 95 μs, however, both of these quantities fluctuate explaining the need for frequent re-calibration in qubit setups. Our main finding is that fluctuations in qubit relaxation are local to the qubit and are caused by instabilities of near-resonant two-level-systems (TLS). Through statistical analysis, we determine switching rates of these TLS and observe the coherent coupling between an individual TLS and a transmon qubit. Finally, we find evidence that the qubit’s frequency stability is limited by capacitance noise. Importantly, this produces a 0.8 ms limit on the pure dephasing which we also observe. Collectively, these findings raise the need for performing qubit metrology to examine the reproducibility of qubit parameters, where these fluctuations could affect qubit gate fidelity.

The loss and noise mechanisms of superconducting resonators are useful tools for understanding decoherence in superconducting circuits. While the loss mechanisms have been heavily studied,noise in superconducting resonators has only recently been investigated. In particular, there is an absence of literature on noise in the single photon limit. Here, we measure the loss and noise of an aluminium on silicon quarter-wavelength (λ/4) resonator in the single photon regime.

We present low-temperature measurements of low-loss superconducting nanowire-embedded resonators in the low-power limit relevant for quantum circuits. The superconducting resonatorsare embedded with superconducting nanowires with widths down to 20nm using a neon focused ion beam. In the low-power limit, we demonstrate an internal quality factor up to 3.9×10^5 at 300mK [implying a two-level-system-limited quality factor up to 2×10^5 at 10 mK], not only significantly higher than in similar devices but also matching the state of the art of conventional Josephson-junction-embedded resonators. We also show a high sensitivity of the nanowire to stray infrared photons, which is controllable by suitable precautions to minimize stray photons in the sample environment. Our results suggest that there are excellent prospects for superconducting-nanowire-based quantum circuits.