Physical Review Letters

Correlating Decoherence in Transmon Qubits: Low Frequency Noise by Single Fluctuators

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We report on long-term measurements of a highly coherent, nontunable superconducting transmon qubit, revealing low-frequency burst noise in coherence times and qubit transition frequency. We achieve this through a simultaneous measurement of the qubit's relaxation and dephasing rate as well as its resonance frequency. The analysis of correlations between these parameters yields information about the microscopic origin of the intrinsic decoherence mechanisms in Josephson qubits. Our results are consistent with a small number of microscopic two-level systems located at the edges of the superconducting film, which is further confirmed by a spectral noise analysis.