Cooling photon-pressure circuits into the quantum regime

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Quantum control of electromagnetic fields was initially established in the optical domain and has been advanced to lower frequencies in the gigahertz range during the past decades extending quantum photonics to broader frequency regimes. In standard cryogenic systems, however, thermal decoherence prevents access to the quantum regime for photon frequencies below the gigahertz domain. Here, we engineer two superconducting LC circuits coupled by a photon-pressure interaction and demonstrate sideband cooling of a hot radio frequency (RF) circuit using a microwave cavity. Because of a substantially increased coupling strength, we obtain a large single-photon quantum cooperativity q0 ∼ 1 and reduce the thermal RF occupancy by 75% with less than one pump photon. For larger pump powers, the coupling rate exceeds the RF thermal decoherence rate by a factor of 3, and the RF circuit is cooled into the quantum ground state. Our results lay the foundation for RF quantum photonics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabg6653
Number of pages8
JournalScience Advances
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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