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24 June 2024
  » arxiv » 2302.00221

 Article overview

Studying phonon coherence with a quantum sensor
Agnetta Y. Cleland ; E. Alex Wollack ; Amir H. Safavi-Naeini ;
Date 1 Feb 2023
AbstractIn the field of quantum technology, nanomechanical oscillators offer a host of useful properties given their compact size, long lifetimes, and ability to detect force and motion. Their integration with superconducting quantum circuits shows promise for hardware-efficient computation architectures and error-correction protocols based on superpositions of mechanical coherent states. One limitation of this approach is decoherence processes affecting the mechanical oscillator. Of particular interest are two-level system (TLS) defects in the resonator host material, which have been widely studied in the classical domain, primarily via measurements of the material loss tangent. In this manuscript, we use a superconducting qubit as a quantum sensor to perform phonon number-resolved measurements on a phononic crystal cavity. This enables a high-resolution study of mechanical dissipation and dephasing in coherent states of variable size (mean phonon number $ avgsimeq1-10$). We observe nonexponential energy decay and a state size-dependent reduction of the dephasing rate, which we attribute to interactions with TLS. Using a numerical model, we reproduce the energy decay signatures (and to a lesser extent, the dephasing signatures) via mechanical emission into a small ensemble ($N=5$) of saturable and rapidly dephasing TLS. Our findings comprise a detailed examination of TLS-induced phonon decoherence in the quantum regime.
Source arXiv, 2302.00221
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