Scalability and modularity for transmon-based quantum processors

Christian Dickel

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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This thesis mainly summarizes two experiments that relate to building a quantum computer out of superconducting transmon qubits. Transmon qubits have emerged as one of the foremost solid state qubits, realizing processors with more than ten qubits and demonstrating small scale quantum algorithms as well as quantum error correction schemes. Right now, there is a race between different academic and industry research groups to scale up transmon qubit processors.
The first experiment was a demonstration of qubit control by selective broadcasting in order to reduce the scaling of expensive electronics with the number of qubits for individual single-qubit control. We demonstrated that we can bring two transmon qubits to the same frequency (combining fabrication accuracy and in-situ fine tuning) and use the same hardware to control both, routing the pulses with a nanosecond-timescale vector switch matrix. Despite the compromises required by this technique, we show a scalable path to single qubit control beyond the threshold required for quantum error correction. In benchmarking, we take into account gate leakage due to the fact that transmons are fundamentally multi-level systems.
In the second experiment we establish entanglement between two transmon qubits on different chips. We use an entanglement by measurement scheme and demonstrate that we can overcome minor fabrication imperfections by shaping our measurement pulses. Ultimately, performance is mainly limited by photon loss between the chips and up to the amplification chain. This entanglement mediated by traveling photons could be used to make a distributed transmon processor where computations are spread across several chip modules. This modularity could enable connectivities that cannot be realized on chip and ease fabrication requirements, as modules could be individually fabricated and selected.
Thus, both of these experiments fit into the larger effort to converge on the hardware, control equipment and architecture of a future large-scale transmon quantum computer. Other experiments I contributed to are summarized in the conclusion chapter to show the diverse physics that can be studied in cQED experiments.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • di Carlo, L., Supervisor
  • Hanson, R., Supervisor
Award date25 Sept 2018
Print ISBNs978-90-8593-363-2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

Casimir PhD series, Delft-Leiden 2018-34


  • quantum information
  • quantum computing
  • superconducting qubits


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