Single artificial-atom lasing

NEC Nano Electronics Research Laboratories, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8501, Japan.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 11/2007; 449(7162):588-90. DOI: 10.1038/nature06141
Source: PubMed


Solid-state superconducting circuits are versatile systems in which quantum states can be engineered and controlled. Recent progress in this area has opened up exciting possibilities for exploring fundamental physics as well as applications in quantum information technology; in a series of experiments it was shown that such circuits can be exploited to generate quantum optical phenomena, by designing superconducting elements as artificial atoms that are coupled coherently to the photon field of a resonator. Here we demonstrate a lasing effect with a single artificial atom--a Josephson-junction charge qubit--embedded in a superconducting resonator. We make use of one of the properties of solid-state artificial atoms, namely that they are strongly and controllably coupled to the resonator modes. The device is essentially different from existing lasers and masers; one and the same artificial atom excited by current injection produces many photons.

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    • "Such devices are rather large, requiring a large meandering capacitance outside the qubit to reduce the charging energy EC. Based on such coupled 2-transmon system, a two-qubit superconducting processing that executing the Grover search and Deutsch–Jozsa quantum algorithms was demonstrated recently.45) "
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    • "There have been some theoretical proposals for single photon detection [84] [85] but this remains an important open experimental problem. Another novel new direction is construction of single artificial atom 'lasers' [61] [86] [87] as well as Sisyphus cooling and amplification [69] of an oscillator. The extreme strong coupling available should permit observation of 'photon blockade' effects [88], and parametric down-conversion by three-wave mixing [89] [90]. "
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    • "We prove that in this case the detectable values of E S are only limited by damping of the oscillator E S ≈ ¯ hΓ ¯ hω 0 . There is an outburst of activity in applying super conducting oscillators for quantum manipulation purposes [9]. The inductance of such an oscillator may be either a thin superconducting wire [10] [11] or a chain of Josephson junctions [12] [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Non-linear effects on driven oscillations are important in many fields of physics, ranging from applied mechanics to optics. They are instrumental for quantum applications. A limitation is that the non-linearities known up to now are featureless functions of the number of photons N in the oscillator. Here we show that the non-linearities found in an oscillator where superconducting inductance is subject to coherent phase-slips, are more interesting. They oscillate as a function of number of photons N with a period of the order of square root of N, which is the spread of the coherent state. We prove that such non-linearities result in multiple metastable states encompassing few photons and study oscillatory dependence of various responses of the resonator. The experimental realization of our proposal can deliver an unambiguous verification of coherent quantum phase-slips.
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