Researchers have created an optomechanical platform for superconducting circuits exhibiting high-fidelity quantum control and ultra-low quantum decoherence, the longest quantum state lifetime in a mechanical oscillator ever obtained results from their ground-breaking work with a “vacuum-gap drumhead capacitor,” opening up new possibilities in quantum computing and sensing.
The challenge for optomechanical systems operating in the quantum realm is to minimize energy loss while maintaining control over them via connection to other physical systems. It calls for maximizing the lifespan of a quantum state, or “decoherence,” which is a recurring problem in many different systems. Decoherence rates are greater in today’s opto- and electromechanical devices than in superconducting qubits or ion traps.
To address the issue, researchers have created an optomechanical platform for superconducting circuits that exhibits ultra-low quantum decoherence and maintains a substantial optomechanical coupling, which produces high-fidelity quantum control.
In other words, they showcased the longest quantum state lifetime yet attained in a mechanical oscillator, which may be used in quantum communication and computer systems as a quantum storage element. It is a significant accomplishment that has an influence on many audiences in the fields of mechanical, electrical, and quantum physics engineering.
A “vacuum-gap drumhead capacitor,” a vibrating component composed of a thin layer of aluminum hung above a trench in a silicon substrate, is the main component of the innovation. In addition to functioning as the oscillator’s vibrating element, the capacitor creates a resonant microwave circuit.
The researchers obtained an exceptional thermal decoherence rate of just 20 Hz, which is comparable to a quantum state lifetime of 7.7 milliseconds – the longest ever observed in a mechanical oscillator – by employing a unique nanofabrication process to minimize mechanical losses in the drumhead resonator drastically.
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