The flux qubit revisited to enhance coherence and reproducibility
November 1, 2016
Nat. Commun., Vol. 7, 2016, 12964.
The scalable application of quantum information science will stand on reproducible and controllable high-coherence quantum bits (qubits). In this work, we revisit the design and fabrication of the superconducting flux qubit, achieving a planar device with broad frequency tunability, strong anharmonicity, high reproducibility, and relaxation times in excess of 40 us at its flux-insensitive point. Qubit relaxation times 1 T across 22 qubits of widely varying designs are consistently matched with a single model involving resonator loss, ohmic charge noise, and 1/f flux noise, a noise source previously considered primarily in the context of dephasing, with temporal variation in 1 T attributed to quasiparticles. We furthermore demonstrate that qubit dephasing at the flux-insensitive point is dominated by residual thermal photons in the readout resonator. The resulting photon shot noise is mitigated using a dynamical decoupling protocol, resulting in T2 ~ 85 us , approximately the 1 2T limit. In addition to realizing a dramatically improved flux qubit, our results uniquely identify photon shot noise as limiting 2 T in contemporary state-of-art qubits based on transverse qubit-resonator interaction.