Superconducting quantum interference device with frequency-dependent damping: Readout of flux qubits

T. L. Robertson, B. L.T. Plourde, T. Hime, S. Linzen, P. A. Reichardt, F. K. Wilhelm, John Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Recent experiments on superconducting flux qubits, consisting of a superconducting loop interrupted by Josephson junctions, have demonstrated quantum coherence between two different quantum states. The state of the qubit is measured with a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). Such measurements require the SQUID to have high resolution while exerting minimal backaction on the qubit. By designing shunts across the SQUID junctions appropriately, one can improve the measurement resolution without increasing the backaction significantly. Using a path-integral approach to analyze the Caldeira-Leggett model, we calculate the narrowing of the distribution of the switching events from the zero-voltage state of the SQUID for arbitrary shunt admittances, focusing on shunts consisting of a capacitance Cs and resistance Rs in series. To test this model, we fabricated a dc SQUID in which each junction is shunted with a thin-film interdigitated capacitor in series with a resistor, and measured the switching distribution as a function of temperature and applied magnetic flux. After accounting for the damping due to the SQUID leads, we found good agreement between the measured escape rates and the predictions of our model. We analyze the backaction of a shunted symmetric SQUID on a flux qubit. For the given parameters of our SQUID and realistic parameters for a flux qubit, at the degeneracy point we find a relaxation time of 113 μs, which limits the decoherence time to 226 μs. Based on our analysis of the escape process, we determine that a SQUID with purely capacitive shunts should have narrow switching distributions and no dissipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024513
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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