Achieving fast and precise initialization of qubits is a critical requirement for the successful operation of quantum computers. The combination of engineered environments with all-microwavetechniques has recently emerged as a promising approach for the reset of superconducting quantum devices. In this work, we experimentally demonstrate the utilization of a single-junction quantum-circuit refrigerator (QCR) for an expeditious removal of several excitations from a transmon qubit. The QCR is indirectly coupled to the transmon through a resonator in the dispersive regime, constituting a carefully engineered environmental spectrum for the transmon. Using single-shot readout, we observe excitation stabilization times down to roughly 500 ns, a 20-fold speedup with QCR and a simultaneous two-tone drive addressing the e-f and f0-g1 transitions of the system. Our results are obtained at a 48-mK fridge temperature and without postselection, fully capturing the advantage of the protocol for the short-time dynamics and the drive-induced detrimental asymptotic behavior in the presence of relatively hot other baths of the transmon. We validate our results with a detailed Liouvillian model truncated up to the three-excitation subspace, from which we estimate the performance of the protocol in optimized scenarios, such as cold transmon baths and fine-tuned driving frequencies. These results pave the way for optimized reset of quantum-electric devices using engineered environments and for dissipation-engineered state preparation.

We consider a superconducting half-wavelength resonator that is grounded at its both ends and contains a single Josephson junction. Previously this circuit was considered as a unimonqubit in the single-mode approximation where dc-phase-biasing the junction to π leads to increased anharmonicity and 99.9% experimentally observed single-qubit gate fidelity. Inspired by the promising first experimental results, we develop here a theoretical and numerical model for the detailed understanding of the multimode physics of the unimon circuit. To this end, first, we consider the high-frequency modes of the unimon circuit and find that even though these modes are at their ground state, they imply a significant renormalization to the Josephson energy. We introduce an efficient method how the relevant modes can be fully taken into account and show that unexcited high-lying modes lead to corrections in the qubit energy and anharmonicity. Interestingly, provided that the junction is offset from the middle of the circuit, we find strong cross-Kerr coupling strengths between a few low-lying modes. This observation paves the way for the utilization of the multimode structure, for example, as several qubits embedded into a single unimon circuit.

We experimentally demonstrate a recently proposed single-junction quantum-circuit refrigerator (QCR) as an in-situ-tunable low-temperature environment for a superconducting 4.7-GHzresonator. With the help of a transmon qubit, we measure the populations of the different resonator Fock states, thus providing reliable access to the temperature of the engineered electromagnetic environment and its effect on the resonator. We demonstrate coherent and thermal resonator states and that the on-demand dissipation provided by the QCR can drive these to a small fraction of a photon on average, even if starting above 1 K. We observe that the QCR can be operated either with a dc bias voltage or a gigahertz rf drive, or a combination of these. The bandwidth of the rf drive is not limited by the circuit itself and consequently, we show that 2.9-GHz continuous and 10-ns-pulsed drives lead to identical desired refrigeration of the resonator. These observations answer to the shortcomings of previous works where the Fock states were not resolvable and the QCR exhibited slow charging dynamics. Thus this work introduces a versatile tool to study open quantum systems, quantum thermodynamics, and to quickly reset superconducting qubits.

Measuring the state of qubits is one of the fundamental operations of a quantum computer. Currently, state-of-the-art high-fidelity single-shot readout of superconducting qubits relieson parametric amplifiers at the millikelvin stage. However, parametric amplifiers are challenging to scale beyond hundreds of qubits owing to practical size and power limitations. Nanobolometers have properties that are advantageous for scalability and have recently shown sensitivity and speed promising for qubit readout, but such thermal detectors have not been demonstrated for this purpose. In this work, we utilize an ultrasensitive bolometer in place of a parametric amplifier to experimentally demonstrate single-shot qubit readout. With a modest readout duration of 13.9 μs, we achieve a single-shot fidelity of 0.618 which is mainly limited by the energy relaxation time of the qubit, T1=28 μs. Without the T1 errors, we find the fidelity to be 0.927. In the future, high-fidelity single-shot readout may be achieved by straightforward improvements to the chip design and experimental setup, and perhaps most interestingly by the change of the bolometer absorber material to reduce the readout time to the hundred-nanosecond level.

The interplay between coherent and dissipative dynamics required in various control protocols of quantum technology has motivated studies of open-system degeneracies, referred to asexceptional points (EPs). Here, we introduce a scheme for fast quantum-state synthesis using exceptional-point engineering in a lossy chain of three superconducting resonators. We theoretically find that the rich physics of EPs can be used to identify regions in the parameter space that favor a fast and quasi-stable transfer of squeezing and entanglement, or a fast reset of the system. For weakly interacting resonators with the coupling strength g, the obtained quasi-stabilization time scales are identified as 1/(22‾√g), and reset infidelities below 10−5 are obtained with a waiting time of roughly 6/g in the case of weakly squeezed resonators. Our results shed light on the role of EPs in multimode Gaussian systems and pave the way for optimized distribution of squeezing and entanglement between different nodes of a photonic network using dissipation as a resource.

Tunable coupling of superconducting qubits has been widely studied due to its importance for isolated gate operations in scalable quantum processor architectures. Here, we demonstratea tunable qubit-qubit coupler based on a floating transmon device which allows us to place qubits at least 2 mm apart from each other while maintaining over 50 MHz coupling between the coupler and the qubits. In the introduced tunable-coupler design, both the qubit-qubit and the qubit-coupler couplings are mediated by two waveguides instead of relying on direct capacitive couplings between the components, reducing the impact of the qubit-qubit distance on the couplings. This leaves space for each qubit to have an individual readout resonator and a Purcell filter needed for fast high-fidelity readout. In addition, the large qubit-qubit distance reduces unwanted non-nearest neighbor coupling and allows multiple control lines to cross over the structure with minimal crosstalk. Using the proposed flexible and scalable architecture, we demonstrate a controlled-Z gate with (99.81±0.02)% fidelity.

The field of propagating quantum microwaves has started to receive considerable attention in the past few years. Motivated at first by the lack of an efficient microwave-to-opticalplatform that could solve the issue of secure communication between remote superconducting chips, current efforts are starting to reach other areas, from quantum communications to sensing. Here, we attempt at giving a state-of-the-art view of the two, pointing at some of the technical and theoretical challenges we need to address, and while providing some novel ideas and directions for future research. Hence, the goal of this paper is to provide a bigger picture, and — we hope — to inspire new ideas in quantum communications and sensing: from open-air microwave quantum key distribution to direct detection of dark matter, we expect that the recent efforts and results in quantum microwaves will soon attract a wider audience, not only in the academic community, but also in an industrial environment.

Superconducting qubits are one of the most promising candidates to implement quantum computers. The superiority of superconducting quantum computers over any classical device in simulatingrandom but well-determined quantum circuits has already been shown in two independent experiments and important steps have been taken in quantum error correction. However, the currently wide-spread qubit designs do not yet provide high enough performance to enable practical applications or efficient scaling of logical qubits owing to one or several following issues: sensitivity to charge or flux noise leading to decoherence, too weak non-linearity preventing fast operations, undesirably dense excitation spectrum, or complicated design vulnerable to parasitic capacitance. Here, we introduce and demonstrate a superconducting-qubit type, the unimon, which combines the desired properties of high non-linearity, full insensitivity to dc charge noise, insensitivity to flux noise, and a simple structure consisting only of a single Josephson junction in a resonator. We measure the qubit frequency, ω01/(2π), and anharmonicity α over the full dc-flux range and observe, in agreement with our quantum models, that the qubit anharmonicity is greatly enhanced at the optimal operation point, yielding, for example, 99.9% and 99.8% fidelity for 13-ns single-qubit gates on two qubits with (ω01,α)=(4.49 GHz,434 MHz)×2π and (3.55 GHz,744 MHz)×2π, respectively. The energy relaxation time T1≲10 μs is stable for hours and seems to be limited by dielectric losses. Thus, future improvements of the design, materials, and gate time may promote the unimon to break the 99.99% fidelity target for efficient quantum error correction and possible quantum advantage with noisy systems.

Previous studies of photon-assisted tunneling through normal-metal-insulator-superconductor junctions have exhibited potential for providing a convenient tool to control the dissipationof quantum-electric circuits in-situ. However, the current literature on such a quantum-circuit refrigerator (QCR) does not present a detailed description for the charge dynamics of the tunneling processes or the phase coherence of the open quantum system. Here we derive a master equation describing both quantum-electric and charge degrees of freedom, and discover that typical experimental parameters of low temperature and yet lower charging energy yield a separation of time scales for the charge and quantum dynamics. Consequently, the minor effect of the different charge states can be taken into account by averaging over the charge distribution. We also consider applying an ac voltage to the tunnel junction, which enables control of the decay rate of a superconducting qubit over four orders of magnitude by changing the drive amplitude; we find an order-of-magnitude drop in the qubit excitation in 40 ns and a residual reset infidelity below 10−4. Furthermore, for the normal island we consider the case of charging energy and single-particle level spacing large compared to the superconducting gap, i.e., a quantum dot. Although the decay rates arising from such a dot QCR appear low for use in qubit reset, the device can provide effective negative damping (gain) to the coupled microwave resonator. The Fano factor of such a millikelvin microwave source may be smaller than unity, with the latter value being reached close to the maximum attainable power.

The increasing need for scaling up quantum computers operating in the microwave domain calls for advanced approaches for control electronics. To this end, integration of componentsat cryogenic temperatures hosting also the quantum devices seems tempting. However, this comes with the limitations of ultra-low power dissipation accompanied by stringent signal-quality requirements to implement quantum-coherent operations. Here, we present a device and a technique to provide coherent continuous-wave microwave emission. We experimentally verify that its operation characteristics accurately follow our introduced theory based on a perturbative treatment of the capacitively shunted Josephson junction as a gain element. From phase noise measurements, we evaluate that the infidelity of typical quantum gate operations owing to this cryogenic source is less than 0.1% up to 10-ms evolution times, which is well below the infidelity caused by dephasing of the state-of-the-art superconducting qubits. Our device provides a coherent tone of 25 pW, corresponding to the total power needed in simultaneous control of thousands of qubits. Thus, together with future cryogenic amplitude and phase modulation techniques, our results may open pathways for scalable cryogenic control systems for quantum processors.