Localization and reduction of superconducting quantum coherent circuit losses
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Localization and reduction of superconducting quantum coherent circuit losses


Quantum sensing and computation can be realized with superconducting microwave circuits. Qubits are engineered quantum systems of capacitors and inductors with non-linear Josephson junctions. They operate in the single-excitation quantum regime, photons of $27 \mu$eV at 6.5 GHz. Quantum coherence is fundamentally limited by materials defects, in particular atomic-scale parasitic two-level systems (TLS) in amorphous dielectrics at circuit interfaces.[1] The electric fields driving oscillating charges in quantum circuits resonantly couple to TLS, producing phase noise and dissipation. We use coplanar niobium-on-silicon superconducting resonators to probe decoherence in quantum circuits. By selectively modifying interface dielectrics, we show that most TLS losses come from the silicon surface oxide, and most non-TLS losses are distributed throughout the niobium surface oxide. Through post-fabrication interface modification we reduced TLS losses by 85% and non-TLS losses by 72%, obtaining record single-photon resonator quality factors above 5 million and approaching a regime where non-TLS losses are dominant. [1]M\"uller, C., Cole, J. H. & Lisenfeld, J. Towards understanding two-level-systems in amorphous solids: insights from quantum circuits. Rep. Prog. Phys. 82, 124501 (2019)

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