We implement a broadly tunable phase shifter for microwaves based on superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) and study it both experimentally and theoretically. At different
frequencies, a unit transmission coefficient, |S21|=1, can be theoretically achieved along a curve where the phase shift is controllable by magnetic flux. The fabricated device consists of three equidistant SQUIDs interrupting a transmission line. We model each SQUID embedded at different positions along the transmission line with two parameters, capacitance and inductance, the values of which we extract from the experiments. In our experiments, the tunability of the phase shift varies from from 0.07×π to 0.14×π radians along the full-transmission curve with the input frequency ranging from 6.00 to 6.28~GHz. The reported measurements are in good agreement with simulations, which is promising for future design work of phase shifters for different applications.
We report a generic scheme to implement transmission-type quantum gates for propagating microwave photons, based on a sequence of lumped-element components on transmission lines. By
choosing three equidistant superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) as the components on a single transmission line, we experimentally implement a magnetic-flux-tunable phase shifter and demonstrate that it produces a broad range of phase shifts and full transmission within the experimental uncertainty. Together with previously demonstrated beam splitters, these phase shifters can be utilized to implement arbitrary single-qubit gates. Furthermore, we theoretically show that replacing the SQUIDs by superconducting qubits, the phase shifter can be made strongly nonlinear, thus introducing deterministic photon–photon interactions. These results critically complement the previous demonstrations of on-demand single-photon sources and detectors, and hence pave the way for an all-microwave quantum computer based on propagating photons.