Nonpairwise multi-qubit interactions present a useful resource for quantum information processors. Their implementation would facilitate more efficient quantum simulations of molecules
and combinatorial optimization problems, and they could simplify error suppression and error correction schemes. Here we present a superconducting circuit architecture in which a coupling module mediates 2-local and 3-local interactions between three flux qubits by design. The system Hamiltonian is estimated via multi-qubit pulse sequences that implement Ramsey-type interferometry between all neighboring excitation manifolds in the system. The 3-local interaction is coherently tunable over several MHz via the coupler flux biases and can be turned off, which is important for applications in quantum annealing, analog quantum simulation, and gate-model quantum computation.
Multi-spin interactions can be engineered with artificial quantum spins. However, it is challenging to verify such interactions experimentally. Here we describe two methods to characterize
the n-local coupling of n spins. First, we analyze the variation of the transition energy of the static system as a function of local spin fields. Standard measurement techniques are employed to distinguish n-local interactions between up to five spins from lower-order contributions in the presence of noise and spurious fields and couplings. Second, we show a detection technique that relies on time dependent driving of the coupling term. Generalizations to larger system sizes are analyzed for both static and dynamic detection methods, and we find that the dynamic method is asymptotically optimal when increasing the system size. The proposed methods enable robust exploration of multi-spin interactions across a broad range of both coupling strengths and qubit modalities.
We introduce CircuitQ, an open-source toolbox for the analysis of superconducting circuits implemented in Python. It features the automated construction of a symbolic Hamiltonian of
the input circuit, as well as a dynamic numerical representation of this Hamiltonian with a variable basis choice. Additional features include the estimation of the T1 lifetimes of the circuit states under various noise mechanisms. We review previously established circuit quantization methods and formulate them in a way that facilitates the software implementation. The toolbox is then showcased by applying it to practically relevant qubit circuits and comparing it to specialized circuit solvers. Our circuit quantization is both applicable to circuit inputs from a large design space and the software is open-sourced. We thereby add an important toolbox for the design of new quantum circuits for quantum information processing applications.
The dominant source of decoherence in contemporary frequency-tunable superconducting qubits is 1/f flux noise. To understand its origin and find ways to minimize its impact, we systematically
study flux noise amplitudes in more than 50 flux qubits with varied SQUID geometry parameters and compare our results to a microscopic model of magnetic spin defects located at the interfaces surrounding the SQUID loops. Our data are in agreement with an extension of the previously proposed model, based on numerical simulations of the current distribution in the investigated SQUIDs. Our results and detailed model provide a guide for minimizing the flux noise susceptibility in future circuits.
Superconducting circuits have emerged as a promising platform to build quantum processors. The challenge of designing a circuit is to compromise between realizing a set of performance
metrics and reducing circuit complexity and noise sensitivity. At the same time, one needs to explore a large design space, and computational approaches often yield long simulation times. Here we automate the circuit design task using SCILLA, a software for automated discovery of superconducting circuits. SCILLA performs a parallelized, closed-loop optimization to design circuit diagrams that match pre-defined properties such as spectral features and noise sensitivities. We employ it to discover 4-local couplers for superconducting flux qubits and identify a circuit that outperforms an existing proposal with similar circuit structure in terms of coupling strength and noise resilience for experimentally accessible parameters. This work demonstrates how automated discovery can facilitate the design of complex circuit architectures for quantum information processing.
An electro-optomechanical device capable of microwave-to-optics conversion has recently been demonstrated, with the vision of enabling optical networks of superconducting qubits. Here
we present an improved converter design that uses a three-dimensional (3D) microwave cavity for coupling between the microwave transmission line and an integrated LC resonator on the converter chip. The new design simplifies the optical assembly and decouples it from the microwave part of the setup. Experimental demonstrations show that the modular device assembly allows us to flexibly tune the microwave coupling to the converter chip while maintaining small loss. We also find that electromechanical experiments are not impacted by the additional microwave cavity. Our design is compatible with a high-finesse optical cavity and will improve optical performance.