Magnetic field compatible hybrid circuit quantum electrodynamics

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Majorana bound states (MBSs) are novel particles predicted to be created when superconductor/semiconductor hybrid structures with strong spin-orbit coupling are subjected to strong magnetic fields. Expected to exhibit non-Abelian exchange statistics, they could form the basis of a new kind of quantum computer that is inherently protected from environmental noise, a common problem that has frustrated other quantum computing platforms. The current techniques used to measure these particles are highly sensitive, having provided the best evidence yet for their existence, but they are intrinsically too slow to form the basis of a useful quantum computer. To remedy this, this thesis integrates exotic materials into high frequency superconducting circuits that have been engineered to be resilient to strong magnetic fields, creating hybrid devices that potentially allow for fast and precise measurement and control of MBSs and their properties.

Several proposals to demonstrate the novel exchange statistics of MBSs use a specific type of superconducting qubit, the `transmon', for fast readout of the state of the MBSs. Problematically, the strong magnetic fields required to induce MBSs would destroy the superconductivity traditional transmons rely on, preventing them from operating as intended. To resolve this, the key constituent components of the transmon, the superconducting resonator and the Josephson junction have been engineered separately to become resilient to strong magnetic fields.

Chapter 4 explores how nanofabrication techniques and careful consideration of the properties of thin superconducting films can be used to engineer superconducting co-planar waveguide resonators that remain operational in strong parallel magnetic fields of \SI{6}{\tesla} and perpendicular magnetic fields of \SI{20}{\milli \tesla}, an order of magnitude greater than previously reported. Building on the results of Chapter 4, Chapter 5 utilises a graphene based Josephson junction, where the monoatomic thickness of the graphene provides an inherent protection against parallel magnetic fields, allowing us to demonstrate operation of a transmon circuit at a parallel magnetic field of \SI{1}{\tesla}.

Advances in nanowire material growth intended to improve the signatures of MBS are used in Chapter 6 to create a low power, highly coherent on-chip microwave source. With broad potential applications in superconducting circuits, it demonstrates a platform well suited for the detection of unique radiation that MBSs are predicted to emit. The thesis is concluded by Chapter 7, which describes the engineering and development of a nanowire based transmon qubit capable of measuring key properties of MBSs in the qubit's energy spectrum.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Kouwenhoven, L.P., Supervisor
  • di Carlo, L., Advisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date29 May 2019
Print ISBNs978-90-8593-399-1
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Casimir PhD Series 2019-23


  • magnetic
  • field
  • cqed
  • hybrid


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