We present an efficient, accurate, and comprehensive analysis framework for generic, multi-port nonlinear parametric circuits, in the presence of dissipation from lossy circuit components,based on „quantum-adapted“ X-parameters. We apply this method to Josephson traveling-wave parametric amplifiers (JTWPAs) – a key component in superconducting and spin qubit quantum computing architectures – which are challenging to model accurately due to their thousands of linear and nonlinear circuit components. X-parameters are generated from a harmonic balance solution of the classical nonlinear circuit and then mapped to the field ladder operator basis, so that the energy associated with each of the multiple interacting modes corresponds to photon occupancy, rather than classical power waves. Explicit relations for the quantum efficiency of a generic, multi-port, multi-frequency parametric circuit are presented and evaluated for two distinct JTWPA designs. The gain and quantum efficiency are consistent with those obtained from Fourier analysis of time-domain solutions, but with enhanced accuracy, speed, and the ability to include real-world impairments, statistical variations, parasitic effects, and impedance mismatches (in- and out-of-band) seamlessly. The unified flow is implemented in Keysight’s PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) and independently in an open-source simulation code, JosephsonCircuits.jl, from the MIT authors.

Systematic errors in qubit state preparation arise due to non-idealities in the qubit control lines such as impedance mismatch. Using a data-based methodology of short-open-load calibrationat a temperature of 30 mK, we report calibrated 1-port scattering parameter data of individual qubit drive line components. At 5~GHz, cryogenic return losses of a 20-dB-attenuator, 10-dB-attenuator, a 230-mm-long 0.86-mm silver-plated cupronickel coaxial cable, and a 230-mm-long 0.86-mm NbTi coaxial cable were found to be 35+3−2 dB, 33+3−2 dB, 34+3−2 dB, and 29+2−1 dB respectively. For the same frequency, we also extract cryogenic insertion losses of 0.99+0.04−0.04 dB and 0.02+0.04−0.04 dB for the coaxial cables. We interpret the results using a master equation simulation of all XY gates performed on a single qubit. For example, we simulate a sequence of two 5 ns gate pulses (X & Y) through a 2-element Fabry-Pérot cavity with 400-mm path length directly preceding the qubit, and establish that the return loss of its reflective elements must be >9.42 dB (> 14.3 dB) to obtain 99.9 % (99.99 %) gate fidelity.

Superconducting quantum technologies require qubit systems whose properties meet several often conflicting requirements, such as long coherence times and high anharmonicity. Here, weprovide an engineering framework based on a generalized superconducting qubit model in the flux regime, which abstracts multiple circuit design parameters and thereby supports design optimization across multiple qubit properties. We experimentally investigate a special parameter regime which has both high anharmonicity (∼1GHz) and long quantum coherence times (T1=40−80μs and T2Echo=2T1).

Realizing a fully connected network of quantum processors requires the ability to distribute quantum entanglement. For distant processing nodes, this can be achieved by generating,routing, and capturing spatially entangled itinerant photons. In this work, we demonstrate deterministic generation of such photons using superconducting transmon qubits that are directly coupled to a waveguide. In particular, we generate two-photon N00N states and show that the state and spatial entanglement of the emitted photons can be tuned via the qubit frequencies. Using quadrature amplitude detection, we reconstruct the moments and correlations of the photonic modes and demonstrate state preparation fidelities of 84%. Our results provide a path towards realizing quantum communication and teleportation protocols using non-classical, spatially entangled itinerant photons.

System noise identification is crucial to the engineering of robust quantum systems. Although existing quantum noise spectroscopy (QNS) protocols measure an aggregate amount of noiseaffecting a quantum system, they generally cannot distinguish between the underlying processes that contribute to it. Here, we propose and experimentally validate a spin-locking-based QNS protocol that exploits the multi-level energy structure of a superconducting qubit to achieve two notable advances. First, our protocol extends the spectral range of weakly anharmonic qubit spectrometers beyond the present limitations set by their lack of strong anharmonicity. Second, the additional information gained from probing the higher-excited levels enables us to identify and distinguish contributions from different underlying noise mechanisms.

Present-day, noisy, small or intermediate-scale quantum processors—although far from fault-tolerant—support the execution of heuristic quantum algorithms, which might enablea quantum advantage, for example, when applied to combinatorial optimization problems. On small-scale quantum processors, validations of such algorithms serve as important technology demonstrators. We implement the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA) on our hardware platform, consisting of two transmon qubits and one parametrically modulated coupler. We solve small instances of the NP-complete exact-cover problem, with 96.6\% success probability, by iterating the algorithm up to level two.

We experimentally investigate a superconducting qubit coupled to the end of an open transmission line, in a regime where the qubit decay rates to the transmission line and to its ownenvironment are comparable. We perform measurements of coherent and incoherent scattering, on- and off-resonant fluorescence, and time-resolved dynamics to determine the decay and decoherence rates of the qubit. In particular, these measurements let us discriminate between non-radiative decay and pure dephasing. We combine and contrast results across all methods and find consistent values for the extracted rates. The results show that the pure dephasing rate is one order of magnitude smaller than the non-radiative decay rate for our qubit. Our results indicate a pathway to benchmark decoherence rates of superconducting qubits in a resonator-free setting.

Superconducting qubits are leading candidates in the race to build a quantum computer capable of realizing computations beyond the reach of modern supercomputers. The superconductingqubit modality has been used to demonstrate prototype algorithms in the `noisy intermediate scale quantum‘ (NISQ) technology era, in which non-error-corrected qubits are used to implement quantum simulations and quantum algorithms. With the recent demonstrations of multiple high fidelity two-qubit gates as well as operations on logical qubits in extensible superconducting qubit systems, this modality also holds promise for the longer-term goal of building larger-scale error-corrected quantum computers. In this brief review, we discuss several of the recent experimental advances in qubit hardware, gate implementations, readout capabilities, early NISQ algorithm implementations, and quantum error correction using superconducting qubits. While continued work on many aspects of this technology is certainly necessary, the pace of both conceptual and technical progress in the last years has been impressive, and here we hope to convey the excitement stemming from this progress.

The aim of this review is to provide quantum engineers with an introductory guide to the central concepts and challenges in the rapidly accelerating field of superconducting quantumcircuits. Over the past twenty years, the field has matured from a predominantly basic research endeavor to one that increasingly explores the engineering of larger-scale superconducting quantum systems. Here, we review several foundational elements — qubit design, noise properties, qubit control, and readout techniques — developed during this period, bridging fundamental concepts in circuit quantum electrodynamics (cQED) and contemporary, state-of-the-art applications in gate-model quantum computation.

The prospect of computational hardware with quantum advantage relies critically on the quality of quantum gate operations. Imperfect two-qubit gates is a major bottleneck for achievingscalable quantum information processors. Here, we propose a generalizable and extensible scheme for a two-qubit coupler switch that controls the qubit-qubit coupling by modulating the coupler frequency. Two-qubit gate operations can be implemented by operating the coupler in the dispersive regime, which is non-invasive to the qubit states. We investigate the performance of the scheme by simulating a universal two-qubit gate on a superconducting quantum circuit, and find that errors from known parasitic effects are strongly suppressed. The scheme is compatible with existing high-coherence hardware, thereby promising a higher gate fidelity with current technologies.