npj Quantum Information

Dynamics of superconducting qubit relaxation times

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Superconducting qubits are a leading candidate for quantum computing but display temporal fluctuations in their energy relaxation times T1. This introduces instabilities in multi-qubit device performance. Furthermore, autocorrelation in these time fluctuations introduces challenges for obtaining representative measures of T1 for process optimization and device screening. These T1 fluctuations are often attributed to time varying coupling of the qubit to defects, putative two level systems (TLSs). In this work, we develop a technique to probe the spectral and temporal dynamics of T1 in single junction transmons by repeated T1 measurements in the frequency vicinity of the bare qubit transition, via the AC-Stark effect. Across 10 qubits, we observe strong correlations between the mean T1 averaged over approximately nine months and a snapshot of an equally weighted T1 average over the Stark shifted frequency range. These observations are suggestive of an ergodic-like spectral diffusion of TLSs dominating T1, and offer a promising path to more rapid T1 characterization for device screening and process optimization.


16 Nov 2022


npj Quantum Information