Unimon Superconducting Qubit To Boost Quantum Computing Accuracy

A team of researchers from Aalto University, IQM Quantum Computers and VTT Technical Research Center have developed a new superconducting qubit, the unimon, to improve the accuracy of quantum computing. The team has created the first quantum logic gate that works 99.9% of the time using unimons.

This is a big step towards building commercially viable quantum computers.

Superconducting qubits are currently the best solution for building practical quantum computers among all available options. However, currently used qubit designs and techniques do not offer a high enough level of performance for real-world applications.

The complexity of implementing quantum computing in this noisy era of intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) is mainly limited by errors in one- and two-qubit quantum gates. For quantum computing to be useful, it needs to improve its accuracy.

A milestone in quantum computing

Unimon Superconducting Qubit - Artists impression

Credit: Alexander Kakinen

The joint research was led by Professor Mikko Möttönen, who is a joint professor of quantum technology at Aalto University and VTT, and co-founder and chief scientist of IQM Quantum Computers.

“Our goal is to create quantum computers that provide an advantage in solving real-world problems. Our announcement today is a major milestone for IQM and a significant advance in the development of better superconducting quantum computers.

said Professor Möttönen.

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Fewer mistakes per step

Unimon, a new type of superconducting qubit developed by Aalto, IQM and VTT, combines the desirable properties of increased anharmonicity, complete insensitivity to DC charge noise, reduced sensitivity to magnetic noise and a simple structure consisting of only one Josephson. connection in the resonator in one circuit.

Using three different unimon qubits, the team achieved 99.8% to 99.9% accuracy for a 13-nanosecond single-qubit gate.

“Because transmons have higher anharmonicity, or nonlinearity, we can run unimons faster, resulting in fewer errors per step.”

said IQM specialist Eric Haipe.

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The researchers created chips that each contained three unimon qubits to experimentally demonstrate unimon. Except for Josephson junctions, where the superconducting wires were made of aluminum, they used niobium as the superconducting material.

Unimon vs. Transmon superconducting qubits

Unimon Superconducting Qubit - Another color microscope image of a silicon chip containing three unimon qubits (blue) along with their readout resonators (red), drive lines (green) and coupling probe line (yellow).

A false-color microscope image of a silicon chip containing three unimon qubits (blue) along with their readout resonators (red), drive lines (green), and coupling probe line (yellow).
Credit: Eric Hyyppä et al, CC-BY

The team found that the unimon qubit can be shielded from noise while requiring only one Josephson junction and having relatively high anharmonicity. Unimon’s geometric inductance can provide greater predictability and yield than conventional fluxonium or quarton qubit superinductors based on junction blocks.

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Unimons are incredibly simple, but have many advantages over transmons. Transmon qubits are used by most modern superconducting multiqubit processors.

The sensitivity of the transmon transition frequency to charge noise was exponentially suppressed by adding a shunt capacitor in parallel to the Josephson junction when the transmon was formed from a charge qubit.

“The fact that the very first unimon ever created worked so well leaves a lot of room for optimization and great advancements. As next steps, we should optimize the design for even higher noise protection and demonstrate a two-qubit gate.

added prof. Möttönen.

To exceed the 99.99% accuracy target for practical quantum advantages with noisy systems and efficient quantum error correction, the team is pursuing further improvements in the design, materials and gates of the union.

Reference: Hyyppä, E., Kundu, S., Chan, CF et al. Unimons qubit. Nat Commun 13, 6895 (2022)


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