Fast-tunable resonators and quantum electrical circuits

Abstract: In this thesis, measurements on superconducting electrical circuits that exhibit quantum mechanical effects are presented. Nonlinear superconducting circuits can be regarded as artificial atoms with energy spectra that can be engineered. The artificial atoms can be used as quantum bits for quantum computation. By coupling the artificial atoms to the electromagnetic field inside a transmission line resonator, quantum optical effects can be studied in these electrical circuits. The possibility of using a frequency tunable transmission line resonators for coupling of superconducting quantum bits is investigated. Tunable superconducting resonators consisting of coplanar waveguide structures, terminated to ground in one end via a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), are characterized. By applying a magnetic field to the SQUID loop, the boundary condition of the resonator changes leading to a change in resonance frequency. A change of the resonance frequency by more than 250 linewidths is demonstrated. It is also demonstrated that the resonator can be tune by several hundred MHz on a time scale that is much shorter than the photon lifetime of the resonator. Circuits containing both one and two transmon qubits coupled to the resonator are characterized. Quantum mechanical interactions between the resonator and the qubits, in form of vacuum Rabi splitting, are observed. Coherent control of a single qubit coupled to the resonator is demonstrated by performing Rabi oscillations of the qubit. In the two qubit case, coherent interaction between the qubits is observed in terms of a nonlinear scaling of the coupling strength between the resonator and the collective two qubit system. Measurements on a strongly driven single Cooper-pair box, using a quantum capacitance readout, are also presented. A rich structure in the response is well explained in terms of longitudinal dressed states of the single-Cooper pair box. When measuring the response of a single-electron box, a gate dependent excess dissipation is observed. The dissipation is understood by considering the internal dynamics of the single electron box. The excess dissipation is modeled as an effective resistance named the Sisyphus resistance.

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