Quantum Coherent Dynamics in a dc SQUID Phase Qubit Using an LC Filter

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A dc SQUID phase qubit consists of two Josephson junctions in a loop. One junction acts as a qubit with two lowest energy levels forming the |0> and |1> status. The second junction and the loop inductance act to isolate the qubit junction from noise. In this thesis, I report on the improvement of the relaxation time and the coherence time in a dc SQUID phase qubit that used an LC filter. I also report the measurement of anomalous switching curves.

In order to improve the relaxation and coherence times, I used two isolation networks, an LC isolation network and an inductive isolation network, to decouple the device from the current bias lines. This produced a very large total effective resistance of the input leads that increases the relaxation time of the qubit. In addition, I connected a low-loss SiNx shunting capacitor across the qubit junction to reduce dielectric losses.

I measured two dc SQUID phase qubits. Device DS6 had a 4 (μm)2 Al/AlOx/Al qubit junction with a critical current of 0.5 μA and a 1 pF shunting capacitor. It used an LC filter made from a 10 nH inductor and a 145 pF capacitor. The capacitors contained N-H rich SiNx which produced a loss tangent of about 7×10-4. Device DS8 had a 2 (μm)2 Al/AlOx/Al qubit junction with a critical current of 77 nA and an LC filter similar to the first one. The shunting capacitor contained Si-H rich SiNx.

Using a pulse readout technique, I measured the characteristics of the qubits, including the transition spectrum, Rabi oscillations, relaxation, Ramsey fringes and state tomography. The best relaxation time T1 for device DS6 was 32 ns and 280 ns for device DS8. The best Rabi decay time T' for DS6 was 42 ns while for device DS8 it was 120 ns. From these and other data I obtained estimates for the best coherence time T2 in device DS6 of 61 ns and 76 ns in device DS8.

In DS8, I observed anomalous switching curves; i.e. switching curves which were qualitatively different from conventional switching curves. In the conventional case, the switching curve for the superposition state is the weighted sum of the |0> and |1> curves, but it was not in device DS8. Instead, the switching curve shifted along the current axis as the exited state probability increased. I present a model for understanding the behavior and use this model to extract the probability to be in the excited state.