Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics with Single Electron Spins in Silicon

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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This dissertation describes a set of experiments with the goal of creating a super-conductor-semiconductor hybrid circuit quantum electrodynamics architecture with single electron spins. Single spins in silicon quantum dots have emerged as attractive qubits for quantum computation. However, how to scale up spin qubit systems remains an open question. The hybrid architecture considered here could provide a route to realizing large networks of quantum dot–based spin qubit registers. The first experiment in this thesis is aimed at achieving strong coupling between a single electron spin and a single microwave photon. The electron is trapped in a gate-defined double quantum dot in a Si/SiGe heterostructure and the photon is stored in an on-chip superconducting high-impedance NbTiN cavity. The photon is coupled directly to the electron charge, and indirectly to the electron spin, mediated through a synthetic spin-orbit field. We observe a vacuum Rabi splitting that depends on the spin-charge hybridization. The ratio of spin-photon coupling strength to decoherence rates of the spin and cavity combined is larger than unity, confirming the strong coupling regime has been reached. In addition, we find an optimal degree of spin-charge hybridization for which this ratio is maximized. The demonstration of strong spin-photon coupling not only opens a new range of physics experiments, but fulfills also a crucial requirement for coupling spin qubits at a distance via a cavity. The second experiment is focused on spin readout with the on-chip cavity. Instead of the direct dispersive readout of a single spin, we use the cavity to detect whether the electron is allowed to tunnel between the two dots or not. We benchmark the charge sensitivity and bandwidth of the detector and find that rapid detection of the electron charge with high SNR is possible. In the two-electron regime, electron tunneling is contingent on the total spin state (Pauli spin blockade). This spin-to-charge conversion scheme enables single-shot detection of singlet states with high-fidelity. The demonstration of single-shot spin readout with a cavity is an essential step towards readout in dense spin qubit arrays, such as the crossbar network, where it is not possible to integrate electrometers and accompanying reservoirs adjacent to the qubit dots. In the third experiment, we develop on-chip microwave filters to suppress microwave photon leakage from the cavity through the gate electrodes that are necessary to form quantum dots. We introduce a new cavity design that is compatible with long-distance connectivity between spins, but is also more susceptible to microwave leakage. We test and compare two low-pass filter variations in terms of performance, footprint and integrability. They use the same nanowire inductor, but different implementations of the capacitor: one with a planar interdigitated capacitor and one novel design with an overlapping thin-film capacitor. We find that both approaches are effective against microwave leakage. However, the large footprint of the interdigitated capacitor makes this solution inconvenient as the number of gate lines increases. The thin-film capacitor, with its much smaller footprint, is better suited for our devices. The final part of this dissertation contains concluding remarks and possible future directions are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Vandersypen, L.M.K., Supervisor
  • Scappucci, G., Advisor
Award date12 Feb 2021
Electronic ISBNs978-90-8593-465-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • quantum dots
  • electrons
  • spins
  • superconducting resonators
  • microwave photons
  • quantum computation
  • silicon

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