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Engineering superconducting qubits to reduce quasiparticles and charge noise

Xianchuang PanHaolan YuanYuxuan Zhou ...+6 Fei Yan
摘要
In any physical realization of a qubit, identifying, quantifying, andsuppressing mechanisms of decoherence are important steps towards the goal ofengineering a universal quantum computer or a quantum simulator.Superconducting circuits based on Josephson junctions offer flexibility inqubit design; however, their performance is adversely affected byquasiparticles (broken Cooper pairs) whose density, as observed in varioussystems, is considerably higher than that expected in thermal equilibrium. Afull understanding of the generation mechanism and a mitigation strategy thatis compatible with scalable, high-coherence devices are therefore highlydesirable. Here we experimentally demonstrate how to control quasiparticlegeneration by downsizing the qubit structure, capping it with a metallic cover,and equipping it with suitable quasiparticle traps. We achieve record lowcharge-parity switching rate (<1Hz) in our aluminium devices. At the same time,the devices display improved stability with respect to discrete chargingevents. Our findings support the hypothesis that the generation ofquasiparticles is dominated by the breaking of Cooper pairs at the junction, asa result of photon absorption mediated by the antenna-like qubit structure. Wethus demonstrate a convenient approach to shape the electromagnetic environmentof superconducting circuits in the sub-terahertz regime, inhibiting decoherencefrom quasiparticle poisoning.
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