Coherence in dc SQUID phase qubits

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2007-09-17

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Abstract

I report measurements of energy relaxation and quantum coherence times in an aluminum dc SQUID phase qubit and a niobium dc SQUID phase qubit at 80 mK. In a dc SQUID phase qubit, the energy levels of one Josephson junction are used as qubit states and the rest of the SQUID forms an inductive network to isolate the qubit junction. Noise current from the SQUID's current bias leads is filtered by the network, with the amount of filtering depending on the ratio of the loop inductance to the Josephson inductance of the isolation junction. The isolation unction inductance can be tuned by adjusting the current, and this allows the isolation to be varied in situ. I quantify the isolation by the isolation factor rI which is the ratio of the current noise power in the qubit junction to the total noise current power on its bias leads.

I measured the energy relaxation time T1, the spectroscopic coherence time T2* and the decay time constant T' of Rabi oscillations in the Al dc SQUID phase qubit AL1 and the Nb dc SQUID phase qubit NBG, which had a gradiometer loop. In particular, I investigated the dependence of T1 on the isolation rI . T1 from the relaxation measurements did not reveal any dependance on the isolation factor rI. For comparison, I found T1 by fitting to the thermally induced background escape rate and found that it depended on rI . However, further investigation suggests that this apparent dependence may be due to a small-noise induced population in j2i so I cannot draw any firrm conclusion.

I also measured the spectroscopic coherence time T2* , Rabi oscillations and the decay constant T' at significantly different isolation factors. Again, I did not observe any dependence of T2* and T' on rI , suggesting that the main decoherence source in the qubit AL1 was not the noise from the bias current. Similar results were found previously in our group's Nb devices.

I compared T1, T2* and T0 for the qubit AL1 with those for NBG and a niobium dc SQUID phase qubit NB1 and found significant differences in T2* and T' among the devices but similar T1 values. If flux noise was dominant, NBG which has a gradiometer loop would have the longest Rabi decay time T'. However, T' for NBG was similar to NB1, a Nb dc SQUID phase qubit without a gradiometer. I found that T' = 28 ns for AL1, the Al dc SQUID phase qubit, and this was more than twice as long as in NBG (T' ~ 15 ns) or NB1 (T' ~ 15 ns). This suggests that materials played an important role in determining the coherence times of the different devices.

Finally, I discuss the possibility of using a Cooper pair box to produce variable coupling between phase qubits. I calculated the effective capacitance of a Cooper pair box as a function of gate voltage. I also calculated the energy levels of a Josephson phase qubit coupled to a Cooper pair box and showed that the energy levels of the phase qubit can be tuned with the coupled Cooper pair box.

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