High-Fidelity Measurement of a Superconducting Qubit Using an On-Chip Microwave Photon Counter

A. Opremcak, C. H. Liu, C. Wilen, K. Okubo, B. G. Christensen, D. Sank, T. C. White, A. Vainsencher, M. Giustina, A. Megrant, B. Burkett, B. L.T. Plourde, R. McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We describe an approach to the high-fidelity measurement of a superconducting qubit using an on-chip microwave photon counter. The protocol relies on the transient response of a dispersively coupled measurement resonator to map the state of the qubit to "bright"and "dark"cavity pointer states that are characterized by a large differential photon occupation. Following this mapping, we photodetect the resonator using the Josephson photomultiplier, which transitions between classically distinguishable flux states when cavity photon occupation exceeds a certain threshold. Our technique provides access to the binary outcome of projective quantum measurement at the millikelvin stage without the need for quantum-limited preamplification and thresholding at room temperature. We achieve raw single-shot measurement fidelity in excess of 98% across multiple samples using this approach in total measurement times under 500 ns. In addition, we show that the backaction and crosstalk associated with our measurement protocol can be mitigated by exploiting the intrinsic damping of the Josephson photomultiplier itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011027
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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