Phonon downconversion to suppress correlated errors in superconducting qubits

V. Iaia, J. Ku, A. Ballard, C. P. Larson, E. Yelton, C. H. Liu, S. Patel, R. McDermott, B. L.T. Plourde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Quantum error correction can preserve quantum information in the presence of local errors, but correlated errors are fatal. For superconducting qubits, high-energy particle impacts from background radioactivity produce energetic phonons that travel throughout the substrate and create excitations above the superconducting ground state, known as quasiparticles, which can poison all qubits on the chip. We use normal metal reservoirs on the chip back side to downconvert phonons to low energies where they can no longer poison qubits. We introduce a pump-probe scheme involving controlled injection of pair-breaking phonons into the qubit chips. We examine quasiparticle poisoning on chips with and without back-side metallization and demonstrate a reduction in the flux of pair-breaking phonons by over a factor of 20. We use a Ramsey interferometer scheme to simultaneously monitor quasiparticle parity on three qubits for each chip and observe a two-order of magnitude reduction in correlated poisoning due to background radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6425
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Phonon downconversion to suppress correlated errors in superconducting qubits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this