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Quantum State Protection and Transfer Using Superconducting Qubits

  • Author(s): Keane, Kyle Michael
  • Advisor(s): Korotkov, Alexander
  • et al.

This dissertation presents a theoretical analysis of protocols relevant for quantum information processing with superconducting qubits. The purpose of these protocols is decoherence suppression and quantum information transfer. Our analysis makes use of the standard density matrix formalism and Kraus operator (operator-sum) representation of quantum operations. We also use the mathematical trick of unravelling continuous evolution into discrete scenarios with corresponding probabilities.

We show that decoherence due to zero-temperature energy relaxation can be almost completely suppressed, probabilistically, by weak measurement reversal (also known as quantum uncollapsing). To protect a qubit, a weak (partial) quantum measurement moves it towards the ground state, where it is kept during the storage period, while the second partial measurement restores the initial state. This procedure preferentially selects the cases without energy decay events. Stronger decoherence suppression requires smaller selection probability; a desired point in this trade-off can be chosen by varying the measurement strength.

We also analyze several simple quantum error correction (QEC) and quantum error detection (QED) protocols, relevant to superconducting qubits. We show that for energy relaxation the repetitive N-qubit quantum codes cannot be used for QEC, but can be used for QED (also known as probabilistic error correction). Moreover, the repetitive code with only two qubits is sufficient for QED. We also present several other two-qubit algorithms realizable with the current technology of superconducting phase qubits; these algorithms can demonstrate QEC for intentional errors and QED for real decoherence.

We also analyze a procedure designed to transfer the state of a microwave qubit from one superconducting resonator to another resonator via a transmission line; the emission and capture of the microwave energy is achieved using tunable couplers. The procedure is shown to be robust against experimental imperfections of required pulse shapes. Our results also indicate that a successful state transfer requires nearly equal resonator frequencies for the entire duration of the procedure.

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