R. Barends

University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

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Publications (101)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By analyzing the dissipative dynamics of a tunable gap flux qubit, we extract both sides of its two-sided environmental flux noise spectral density over a range of frequencies around $2k_BT/h \approx 1\,\rm{GHz}$, allowing for the observation of a classical-quantum crossover. Below the crossover point, the symmetric noise component follows a $1/f$ power law that matches the magnitude of the $1/f$ noise near $1\,{\rm{Hz}}$. The antisymmetric component displays a 1/T dependence below $100\,\rm{mK}$, providing dynamical evidence for a paramagnetic environment. Extrapolating the two-sided spectrum predicts the linewidth and reorganization energy of incoherent resonant tunneling between flux qubit wells.
    Article · Aug 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface distributions of two level system (TLS) defects and magnetic vortices are limiting dissipation sources in superconducting quantum circuits. Arrays of flux-trapping holes are commonly used to eliminate loss due to magnetic vortices, but may increase dielectric TLS loss. We find that dielectric TLS loss increases by approximately $25\, \%$ for resonators with a hole array beginning 2 $\mu \text{m}$ from the resonator edge, while the dielectric loss added by holes further away was below measurement sensitivity. Other forms of loss were not affected by the holes. Additionally, we bound the loss tangent due to residual magnetic effects to $<9\times 10^{-11} /\text{mG}$ for resonators patterned with flux-traps and operated in magnetic fields up to $50\, \text{mG}$.
    Article · Jul 2016 · Superconductor Science and Technology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many superconducting qubit systems use the dispersive interaction between the qubit and a coupled harmonic resonator to perform quantum state measurement. Previous works have found that such measurements can induce state transitions in the qubit if the number of photons in the resonator is too high. We investigate these transitions and find that they can push the qubit out of the two-level subspace. Furthermore, these transitions show resonant behavior as a function of photon number. We develop a theory for these observations based on level crossings within the Jaynes-Cummings ladder, with transitions mediated by terms in the Hamiltonian which are typically ignored by the rotating wave approximation. We confirm the theory by measuring the photon occupation of the resonator when transitions occur while varying the detuning between the qubit and resonator.
    Full-text Article · Jun 2016
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    R. Barends · A. Shabani · L. Lamata · [...] · John M. Martinis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major challenge in quantum computing is to solve general problems with limited physical hardware. Here, we implement digitized adiabatic quantum computing, combining the generality of the adiabatic algorithm with the universality of the digital approach, using a superconducting circuit with nine qubits. We probe the adiabatic evolutions, and quantify the success of the algorithm for random spin problems. We find that the system can approximate the solutions to both frustrated Ising problems and problems with more complex interactions, with a performance that is comparable. The presented approach is compatible with small-scale systems as well as future error-corrected quantum computers.
    Full-text Article · Jun 2016 · Nature
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intriguing many-body phases of quantum matter arise from the interplay of particle interactions, spatial symmetries, and external fields. Generating these phases in an engineered system could provide deeper insight into their nature and the potential for harnessing their unique properties. However, concurrently bringing together the main ingredients for realizing many-body phenomena in a single experimental platform is a major challenge. Using superconducting qubits, we simultaneously realize synthetic magnetic fields and strong particle interactions, which are among the essential elements for studying quantum magnetism and fractional quantum Hall (FQH) phenomena. The artificial magnetic fields are synthesized by sinusoidally modulating the qubit couplings. In a closed loop formed by the three qubits, we observe the directional circulation of photons, a signature of broken time-reversal symmetry. We demonstrate strong interactions via the creation of photon-vacancies, or "holes", which circulate in the opposite direction. The combination of these key elements results in chiral groundstate currents, the first direct measurement of persistent currents in low-lying eigenstates of strongly interacting bosons. The observation of chiral currents at such a small scale is interesting and suggests that the rich many-body physics could survive to smaller scales. We also motivate the feasibility of creating FQH states with near future superconducting technologies. Our work introduces an experimental platform for engineering quantum phases of strongly interacting photons and highlight a path toward realization of bosonic FQH states.
    Article · May 2016
  • J. Kelly · R. Barends · A. G. Fowler · [...] · John M. Martinis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a method to optimize qubit control parameters during error detection which is compatible with large-scale qubit arrays. We demonstrate our method to optimize single or two-qubit gates in parallel on a nine-qubit system. Additionally, we show how parameter drift can be compensated for during computation by inserting a frequency drift and using our method to remove it. We remove both drift on a single qubit and independent drifts on all qubits simultaneously. We believe this method will be useful in keeping error rates low on all physical qubits throughout the course of a computation. Our method is O(1) scalable to systems of arbitrary size, providing a path towards controlling the large numbers of qubits needed for a fault-tolerant quantum computer
    Article · Mar 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Weak measurement has provided new insight into the nature of quantum measurement, by demonstrating the ability to extract average state information without fully projecting the system. For single-qubit measurements, this partial projection has been demonstrated with violations of the Leggett–Garg inequality. Here we investigate the effects of weak measurement on a maximally entangled Bell state through application of the Hybrid Bell–Leggett–Garg inequality (BLGI) on a linear chain of four transmon qubits. By correlating the results of weak ancilla measurements with subsequent projective readout, we achieve a violation of the BLGI with 27 s.d.s. of certainty.
    Full-text Article · Feb 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Statistical mechanics is founded on the assumption that all accessible configurations of a system are equally likely. This requires dynamics that explore all states over time, known as ergodic dynamics. In isolated quantum systems, however, the occurrence of ergodic behavior has remained an outstanding question. Here, we demonstrate ergodic dynamics in a small quantum system consisting of only three superconducting qubits. The qubits undergo a sequence of rotations and interactions and we measure the evolution of the density matrix. Maps of the entanglement entropy show that the full system can act like a reservoir for individual qubits, increasing their entropy through entanglement. Surprisingly, these maps bear a strong resemblance to the phase space dynamics in the classical limit; classically chaotic motion coincides with higher entanglement entropy. We further show that in regions of high entropy the full multi-qubit system undergoes ergodic dynamics. Our work illustrates how controllable quantum systems can investigate fundamental questions in non-equilibrium thermodynamics.
    Article · Jan 2016 · Nature Physics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the first electronic structure calculation performed on a quantum computer without exponentially costly precompilation. We use a programmable array of superconducting qubits to compute the energy surface of molecular hydrogen using two distinct quantum algorithms. First, we experimentally execute the unitary coupled cluster method using the variational quantum eigensolver. Our efficient implementation predicts the correct dissociation energy to within chemical accuracy of the numerically exact result. Next, we experimentally demonstrate the canonical quantum algorithm for chemistry, which consists of Trotterization and quantum phase estimation. We compare the experimental performance of these approaches to show clear evidence that the variational quantum eigensolver is robust to certain errors, inspiring hope that quantum simulation of classically intractable molecules may be viable in the near future.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2015 · Physical Review X
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leakage errors occur when a quantum system leaves the two-level qubit subspace. Reducing these errors is critically important for quantum error correction to be viable. To quantify leakage errors, we use randomized benchmarking in conjunction with measurement of the leakage population. We characterize single qubit gates in a superconducting qubit, and by refining our use of Derivative Reduction by Adiabatic Gate (DRAG) pulse shaping along with detuning of the pulses, we obtain gate errors consistently below $10^{-3}$ and leakage rates at the $10^{-5}$ level. With the control optimized, we find that a significant portion of the remaining leakage is due to incoherent heating of the qubit.
    Article · Sep 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    R. Barends · L. Lamata · J. Kelly · [...] · John M. Martinis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simulating quantum physics with a device which itself is quantum mechanical, a notion Richard Feynman originated, would be an unparallelled computational resource. However, the universal quantum simulation of fermionic systems is daunting due to their particle statistics, and Feynman left as an open question whether it could be done, because of the need for non-local control. Here, we implement fermionic interactions with digital techniques in a superconducting circuit. Focusing on the Hubbard model, we perform time evolution with constant interactions as well as a dynamic phase transition with up to four fermionic modes encoded in four qubits. The implemented digital approach is universal and allows for the efficient simulation of fermions in arbitrary spatial dimensions. We use in excess of 300 single-qubit and two-qubit gates, and reach global fidelities which are limited by gate errors. This demonstration highlights the feasibility of the digital approach and opens a viable route towards analog-digital quantum simulation of interacting fermions and bosons in large-scale solid state systems.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2015 · Nature Communications
  • P. J. J. O’Malley · J. Kelly · R. Barends · [...] · John M. Martinis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A precise measurement of dephasing over a range of time scales is critical for improving quantum gates beyond the error correction threshold. We present a metrological tool based on randomized benchmarking capable of greatly increasing the precision of Ramsey and spin-echo sequences by the repeated but incoherent addition of phase noise. We find our superconducting-quantum-interference-device-based qubit is not limited by 1/f flux noise at short time scales but instead observe a telegraph noise mechanism that is not amenable to study with standard measurement techniques.
    Article · Apr 2015 · Physical Review Applied
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the inception of quantum mechanics, its validity as a complete description of reality has been challenged due to predictions that defy classical intuition. For many years it was unclear whether predictions like entanglement and projective measurement represented real phenomena or artifacts of an incomplete model. Bell inequalities (BI) provided the first quantitative test to distinguish between quantum entanglement and a yet undiscovered classical hidden variable theory. The Leggett-Garg inequality (LGI) provides a similar test for projective measurement, and more recently has been adapted to include variable strength measurements to study the process of measurement itself. Here we probe the intersection of both entanglement and measurement through the lens of the hybrid Bell-Leggett-Garg inequality (BLGI). By correlating data from ancilla-based weak measurements and direct projective measurements, we for the first time quantify the effect of measurement strength on entanglement collapse. Violation of the BLGI, which we achieve only at the weakest measurement strengths, offers compelling evidence of the completeness of quantum mechanics while avoiding several loopholes common to previous experimental tests. This uniquely quantum result significantly constrains the nature of any possible classical theory of reality. Additionally, we demonstrate that with sufficient scale and fidelity, a universal quantum processor can be used to study richer fundamental physics.
    Full-text Article · Apr 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Josephson parametric amplifiers have become a critical tool in superconducting device physics due to their high gain and quantum-limited noise. Traveling wave parametric amplifiers (TWPAs) promise similar noise performance while allowing for significant increases in both bandwidth and dynamic range. We present a TWPA device based on an LC-ladder transmission line of Josephson junctions and parallel plate capacitors using low-loss amorphous silicon dielectric. Crucially, we have inserted $\lambda/4$ resonators at regular intervals along the transmission line in order to maintain the phase matching condition between pump, signal, and idler and increase gain. We achieve an average gain of 12\,dB across a 4\,GHz span, along with an average saturation power of -92\,dBm with noise approaching the quantum limit.
    Article · Mar 2015 · Applied Physics Letters
  • J. Kelly · R. Barends · A. G. Fowler · [...] · John M. Martinis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quantum computing becomes viable when a quantum state can be preserved from environmentally-induced error. If quantum bits (qubits) are sufficiently reliable, errors are sparse and quantum error correction (QEC) is capable of identifying and correcting them. Adding more qubits improves the preservation by guaranteeing increasingly larger clusters of errors will not cause logical failure - a key requirement for large-scale systems. Using QEC to extend the qubit lifetime remains one of the outstanding experimental challenges in quantum computing. Here, we report the protection of classical states from environmental bit-flip errors and demonstrate the suppression of these errors with increasing system size. We use a linear array of nine qubits, which is a natural precursor of the two-dimensional surface code QEC scheme, and track errors as they occur by repeatedly performing projective quantum non-demolition (QND) parity measurements. Relative to a single physical qubit, we reduce the failure rate in retrieving an input state by a factor of 2.7 for five qubits and a factor of 8.5 for nine qubits after eight cycles. Additionally, we tomographically verify preservation of the non-classical Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) state. The successful suppression of environmentally-induced errors strongly motivates further research into the many exciting challenges associated with building a large-scale superconducting quantum computer.
    Article · Nov 2014 · Nature
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    P. J. J. O'Malley · J. Kelly · R. Barends · [...] · John M. Martinis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A precise measurement of dephasing over a range of timescales is critical for improving quantum gates beyond the error correction threshold. We present a method for measuring dephasing in experimental quantum systems based on randomized benchmarking that excels at measuring small levels of phase noise at the timescales relevant to gates. We find our SQUID-based qubit is not limited by 1/f flux noise, but instead observe a previously unreported telegraph noise mechanism. We demonstrate that full understanding of dephasing allows for the use of "mediocre clocks"--systems with correlated phase noise--as good qubits.
    Full-text Article · Nov 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We show how capacitance can be calculated simply and efficiently for electrodes cut in a 2-dimensional ground plane. These results are in good agreement with exact formulas and numerical simulations.
    Article · Oct 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many superconducting qubits are highly sensitive to dielectric loss, making the fabrication of coherent quantum circuits challenging. To elucidate this issue, we characterize the interfaces and surfaces of superconducting coplanar waveguide resonators and study the associated microwave loss. We show that contamination induced by traditional qubit lift-off processing is particularly detrimental to quality factors without proper substrate cleaning, while roughness plays at most a small role. Aggressive surface treatment is shown to damage the crystalline substrate and degrade resonator quality. We also introduce methods to characterize and remove ultra-thin resist residue, providing a way to quantify and minimize remnant sources of loss on device surfaces.
    Article · Jul 2014 · Applied Physics Letters
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery of topological phases in condensed matter systems has changed the modern conception of phases of matter. The global nature of topological ordering makes these phases robust and hence promising for applications. However, the non-locality of this ordering makes direct experimental studies an outstanding challenge, even in the simplest model topological systems, and interactions among the constituent particles adds to this challenge. Here we demonstrate a novel dynamical method to explore topological phases in both interacting and non-interacting systems, by employing the exquisite control afforded by state-of-the-art superconducting quantum circuits. We utilize this method to experimentally explore the well-known Haldane model of topological phase transitions by directly measuring the topological invariants of the system. We construct the topological phase diagram of this model and visualize the microscopic evolution of states across the phase transition, tasks whose experimental realizations have remained elusive. Furthermore, we developed a new qubit architecture that allows simultaneous control over every term in a two-qubit Hamiltonian, with which we extend our studies to an interacting Hamiltonian and discover the emergence of an interaction-induced topological phase. Our implementation, involving the measurement of both global and local textures of quantum systems, is close to the original idea of quantum simulation as envisioned by R. Feynman, where a controllable quantum system is used to investigate otherwise inaccessible quantum phenomena. This approach demonstrates the potential of superconducting qubits for quantum simulation and establishes a powerful platform for the study of topological phases in quantum systems.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2014 · Nature
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We apply the method of compressed sensing (CS) quantum process tomography (QPT) to characterize quantum gates based on superconducting Xmon and phase qubits. Using experimental data for a two-qubit controlled-Z gate, we obtain an estimate for the process matrix $\chi$ with reasonably high fidelity compared to full QPT, but using a significantly reduced set of initial states and measurement configurations. We show that the CS method still works when the amount of used data is so small that the standard QPT would have an underdetermined system of equations. We also apply the CS method to the analysis of the three-qubit Toffoli gate with numerically added noise, and similarly show that the method works well for a substantially reduced set of data. For the CS calculations we use two different bases in which the process matrix $\chi$ is approximately sparse, and show that the resulting estimates of the process matrices match each ther with reasonably high fidelity. For both two-qubit and three-qubit gates, we characterize the quantum process by not only its process matrix and fidelity, but also by the corresponding standard deviation, defined via variation of the state fidelity for different initial states.
    Article · Jul 2014 · Physical Review B