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Title: Experiments on multi-level superconducting qubits and coaxial circuit QED
Author: Peterer, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 4438
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Superconducting qubits are a promising technology for building a scalable quantum computer. An important architecture employed in the field is called Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics (circuit QED), where such qubits are combined with high quality microwave cavities to study the interaction between artificial atoms and single microwave photons. The ultra-strong coupling achieved in these systems allows for control and readout of the quantum state of qubits to perform quantum information processing. The work on circuit QED performed in this thesis consisted of realizing an experimental setup for qubit experiments in a new laboratory, investigating the coherence and decay of higher energy levels of superconducting transmon qubits and finally demonstrating a novel coaxial form of circuit QED. Designing and building a 3D circuit QED setup involved the following main accomplishments: producing high quality 3D cavities; designing and installing the cryogenic microwave setup as well as the room temperature amplification and data acquisition circuitry; successfully developing a recipe for the fabrication of Josephson junctions; controlling and measuring superconducting 3D transmon qubits at 10mK. Several qubits were fully characterised and have shown coherence times of several microseconds and relaxation times up to 25μs. Superconducting qubits in fact possess higher energy levels that can provide significant computational advantages in quantum information applications. In experiments performed at MIT, preparation and control of the five lowest states of a transmon qubit was demonstrated, followed by an investigation of the phase coherence and decay dynamics of these higher energy levels. The decay was found to proceed mainly sequentially with relaxation times in excess of 20μs for all transitions. A direct measurement of the charge dispersion of these levels was performed to explore their characteristics of dephasing. This experiment was also reproduced on a 3D transmon fabricated and measured in Oxford, where due to a higher effective qubit temperature a multi-level decay model including thermal excitations was developed to explain the observed relaxation dynamics. Finally, a coaxial transmon, which we name the coaxmon, is presented and measured with a coaxial LC readout resonator and input/output coupling ports placed inline along the third dimension. This novel coaxial circuit QED architecture holds great promise for developing a scalable planar grid of qubits to build a quantum computer.
Supervisor: Leek, Peter Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: nanoscale physics ; quantum computing ; quantum information processing ; quantum physics ; condensed matter physics ; circuit quantum electrodynamics ; superconducting qubits ; mesoscale physics ; coherence ; transmon ; artificial atom ; coaxmon ; 3D cavity ; higher levels ; decoherence