Quantum computing and condensed matter physics with microwave photons

Interacting Qubit-Photon Bound States with Superconducting Circuits

Neereja Sunaresan, Rex Lundgren, Guanyu Zhu, Alexey Gorshkov, and Andrew A. Houck

Qubits strongly coupled to a photonic crystal give rise to many exotic physical scenarios, beginning with single and multi-excitation qubit-photon dressed bound states comprising induced spatially localized photonic modes, centered around the qubits, and the qubits themselves. The localization of these states changes with qubit detuning from the band-edge, offering an avenue of in situ control of bound state interaction. Here, we present experimental results from a device with two qubits coupled to a superconducting microwave photonic crystal and realize tunable on-site and inter-bound state interactions. We observe a fourth-order two photon virtual process between bound states indicating strong coupling between the photonic crystal and qubits. Due to their localization-dependent interaction, these states offer the ability to create one-dimensional chains of bound states with tunable and potentially long-range interactions that preserve the qubits’ spatial organization, a key criterion for realization of certain quantum many-body models. The widely tunable, strong and robust interactions demonstrated with this system are promising benchmarks towards realizing larger, more complex systems of bound states.