Superconducting quantum processors are a compelling platform for analog quantum simulation due to the precision control, fast operation, and site-resolved readout inherent to the hardware.Arrays of coupled superconducting qubits natively emulate the dynamics of interacting particles according to the Bose-Hubbard model. However, many interesting condensed-matter phenomena emerge only in the presence of electromagnetic fields. Here, we emulate the dynamics of charged particles in an electromagnetic field using a superconducting quantum simulator. We realize a broadly adjustable synthetic magnetic vector potential by applying continuous modulation tones to all qubits. We verify that the synthetic vector potential obeys requisite properties of electromagnetism: a spatially-varying vector potential breaks time-reversal symmetry and generates a gauge-invariant synthetic magnetic field, and a temporally-varying vector potential produces a synthetic electric field. We demonstrate that the Hall effect–the transverse deflection of a charged particle propagating in an electromagnetic field–exists in the presence of the synthetic electromagnetic field.

Phase slips occur across all Josephson junctions (JJs) at a rate that increases with the impedance of the junction. In superconducting qubits composed of JJ-array superinductors —such as fluxonium — phase slips in the array can lead to decoherence. In particular, phase-slip processes at the individual array junctions can coherently interfere, each with an Aharonov–Casher phase that depends on the offset charges of the array islands. These coherent quantum phase slips (CQPS) perturbatively modify the qubit frequency, and therefore charge noise on the array islands will lead to dephasing. By varying the impedance of the array junctions, we design a set of fluxonium qubits in which the expected phase-slip rate within the JJ-array changes by several orders of magnitude. We characterize the coherence times of these qubits and demonstrate that the scaling of CQPS-induced dephasing rates agrees with our theoretical model. Furthermore, we perform noise spectroscopy of two qubits in regimes dominated by either CQPS or flux noise. We find the noise power spectrum associated with CQPS dephasing appears to be featureless at low frequencies and not 1/f. Numerical simulations indicate this behavior is consistent with charge noise generated by charge-parity fluctuations within the array. Our findings broadly inform JJ-array-design tradeoffs, relevant for the numerous superconducting qubit designs employing JJ-array superinductors.

Quantum information processing at scale will require sufficiently stable and long-lived qubits, likely enabled by error-correction codes. Several recent superconducting-qubit experiments,however, reported observing intermittent spatiotemporally correlated errors that would be problematic for conventional codes, with ionizing radiation being a likely cause. Here, we directly measured the cosmic-ray contribution to spatiotemporally correlated qubit errors. We accomplished this by synchronously monitoring cosmic-ray detectors and qubit energy-relaxation dynamics of 10 transmon qubits distributed across a 5x5x0.35 mm3 silicon chip. Cosmic rays caused correlated errors at a rate of 1/(10 min), accounting for 17±1% of all such events. Our qubits responded to essentially all of the cosmic rays and their secondary particles incident on the chip, consistent with the independently measured arrival flux. Moreover, we observed that the landscape of the superconducting gap in proximity to the Josephson junctions dramatically impacts the qubit response to cosmic rays. Given the practical difficulties associated with shielding cosmic rays, our results indicate the importance of radiation hardening — for example, superconducting gap engineering — to the realization of robust quantum error correction.

Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers face a critical limitation in qubit numbers, hindering their progression towards large-scale and fault-tolerant quantum computing.A significant challenge impeding scaling is crosstalk, characterized by unwanted interactions among neighboring components on quantum chips, including qubits, resonators, and substrate. We motivate a general approach to systematically resolving multifaceted crosstalks in a limited substrate area. We propose Qplacer, a frequency-aware electrostatic-based placement framework tailored for superconducting quantum computers, to alleviate crosstalk by isolating these components in spatial and frequency domains alongside compact substrate design. Qplacer commences with a frequency assigner that ensures frequency domain isolation for qubits and resonators. It then incorporates a padding strategy and resonator partitioning for layout flexibility. Central to our approach is the conceptualization of quantum components as charged particles, enabling strategic spatial isolation through a ‚frequency repulsive force‘ concept. Our results demonstrate that Qplacer carefully crafts the physical component layout in mitigating various crosstalk impacts while maintaining a compact substrate size. On device topology benchmarks, Qplacer can reduce the required area for theoretical crosstalk-free layout by 2.61x and 2.25x on average, compared to the results of manual design and classical placement engines, respectively.

We propose and demonstrate an architecture for fluxonium-fluxonium two-qubit gates mediated by transmon couplers (FTF, for fluxonium-transmon-fluxonium). Relative to architectures thatexclusively rely on a direct coupling between fluxonium qubits, FTF enables stronger couplings for gates using non-computational states while simultaneously suppressing the static controlled-phase entangling rate (ZZ) down to kHz levels, all without requiring strict parameter matching. Here we implement FTF with a flux-tunable transmon coupler and demonstrate a microwave-activated controlled-Z (CZ) gate whose operation frequency can be tuned over a 2 GHz range, adding frequency allocation freedom for FTF’s in larger systems. Across this range, state-of-the-art CZ gate fidelities were observed over many bias points and reproduced across the two devices characterized in this work. After optimizing both the operation frequency and the gate duration, we achieved peak CZ fidelities in the 99.85-99.9\% range. Finally, we implemented model-free reinforcement learning of the pulse parameters to boost the mean gate fidelity up to 99.922±0.009%, averaged over roughly an hour between scheduled training runs. Beyond the microwave-activated CZ gate we present here, FTF can be applied to a variety of other fluxonium gate schemes to improve gate fidelities and passively reduce unwanted ZZ interactions.

Superconducting quantum processors comprising flux-tunable data and coupler qubits are a promising platform for quantum computation. However, magnetic flux crosstalk between the flux-controllines and the constituent qubits impedes precision control of qubit frequencies, presenting a challenge to scaling this platform. In order to implement high-fidelity digital and analog quantum operations, one must characterize the flux crosstalk and compensate for it. In this work, we introduce a learning-based calibration protocol and demonstrate its experimental performance by calibrating an array of 16 flux-tunable transmon qubits. To demonstrate the extensibility of our protocol, we simulate the crosstalk matrix learning procedure for larger arrays of transmon qubits. We observe an empirically linear scaling with system size, while maintaining a median qubit frequency error below 300 kHz.

The microscopic origin of 1/f magnetic flux noise in superconducting circuits has remained an open question for several decades despite extensive experimental and theoretical investigation.Recent progress in superconducting devices for quantum information has highlighted the need to mitigate sources of qubit decoherence, driving a renewed interest in understanding the underlying noise mechanism(s). Though a consensus has emerged attributing flux noise to surface spins, their identity and interaction mechanisms remain unclear, prompting further study. Here we apply weak in-plane magnetic fields to a capacitively-shunted flux qubit (where the Zeeman splitting of surface spins lies below the device temperature) and study the flux-noise-limited qubit dephasing, revealing previously unexplored trends that may shed light on the dynamics behind the emergent 1/f noise. Notably, we observe an enhancement (suppression) of the spin-echo (Ramsey) pure dephasing time in fields up to B=100 G. With direct noise spectroscopy, we further observe a transition from a 1/f to approximately Lorentzian frequency dependence below 10 Hz and a reduction of the noise above 1 MHz with increasing magnetic field. We suggest that these trends are qualitatively consistent with an increase of spin cluster sizes with magnetic field. These results should help to inform a complete microscopic theory of 1/f flux noise in superconducting circuits.

We propose to couple the flux degree of freedom of one mode with the charge degree of freedom of a second mode in a hybrid superconducting-semiconducting architecture. Nonreciprocitycan arise in this architecture in the presence of external static magnetic fields alone. We leverage this property to engineer a passive on-chip gyrator, the fundamental two-port nonreciprocal device which can be used to build other nonreciprocal devices such as circulators. We analytically and numerically investigate how the nonlinearity of the interaction, circuit disorder and parasitic couplings affect the scattering response of the gyrator.

Nonpairwise multi-qubit interactions present a useful resource for quantum information processors. Their implementation would facilitate more efficient quantum simulations of moleculesand 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.

We introduce a circuit-QED architecture combining fixed-frequency qubits and microwave-driven couplers. In the appropriate frame, the drive parameters appear as tunable knobs enablingselective two-qubit coupling and coherent-error suppression. We moreover introduce a set of controlled-phase gates based on drive-amplitude and drive-frequency modulation. We develop a theoretical framework based on Floquet theory to model microwave-activated interactions with time-dependent drive parameters, which we also use for pulse shaping. We perform numerical simulations of the gate fidelity for realistic circuit parameters, and discuss the impact of drive-induced decoherence. We estimate average gate fidelities beyond 99.9% for all-microwave controlled-phase operations with gate times in the range 50−120ns. These two-qubit gates can operate over a large drive-frequency bandwidth and in a broad range of circuit parameters, thereby improving extensibility. We address the frequency allocation problem for this architecture using perturbation theory, demonstrating that qubit, coupler and drive frequencies can be chosen such that undesired static and driven interactions remain bounded in a multi-qubit device. Our numerical methods are useful for describing the time-evolution of driven systems in the adiabatic limit, and are applicable to a wide variety of circuit-QED setups.