Quantum computing and condensed matter physics with microwave photons

Charge-insensitive qubit design derived from the Cooper pair box

Jens Koch, Terri M. Yu, Jay Gambetta, A. A. Houck, D. I. Schuster, J. Majer, Alexandre Blais, M. H. Devoret, S. M. Girvin, and R. J. Schoelkopf

Short dephasing times pose one of the main challenges in realizing a quantum computer. Different approaches have been devised to cure this problem for superconducting qubits, a prime example being the operation of such devices at optimal working points, so-called "sweet spots." This latter approach led to significant improvement of T2 times in Cooper pair box qubits [D. Vion et al., Science 296, 886 (2002)]. Here, we introduce a new type of superconducting qubit called the "transmon." Unlike the charge qubit, the transmon is designed to operate in a regime of significantly increased ratio of Josephson energy and charging energy EJ/EC. The transmon benefits from the fact that its charge dispersion decreases exponentially with EJ/EC, while its loss in anharmonicity is described by a weak power law. As a result, we predict a drastic reduction in sensitivity to charge noise relative to the Cooper pair box and an increase in the qubit-photon coupling, while maintaining sufficient anharmonicity for selective qubit control. Our detailed analysis of the full system shows that this gain is not compromised by increased noise in other known channels.