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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Jun 8;108(23):230509. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Measurements of quasiparticle tunneling dynamics in a band-gap-engineered transmon qubit.

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Department of Physics and Applied Physics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


We have engineered the band gap profile of transmon qubits by combining oxygen-doped Al for tunnel junction electrodes and clean Al as quasiparticle traps to investigate energy relaxation due to quasiparticle tunneling. The relaxation time T1 of the qubits is shown to be insensitive to this band gap engineering. Operating at relatively low-E(J)/E(C) makes the transmon transition frequency distinctly dependent on the charge parity, allowing us to detect the quasiparticles tunneling across the qubit junction. Quasiparticle kinetics have been studied by monitoring the frequency switching due to even-odd parity change in real time. It shows the switching time is faster than 10  μs, indicating quasiparticle-induced relaxation has to be reduced to achieve T1 much longer than 100  μs.

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