Fermilab

Superconducting technology for quantum

Extending qubit coherence time

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Superconducting quantum systems

Viable quantum computing technology relies on the development of quantum bits, or qubits, that can maintain quantum information for periods of time longer than 1 second. At Fermilab, scientists and engineers are turning to existing particle accelerator technology to achieve this goal. By using ultraefficient superconducting resonators — one of the core technologies for advancing particle accelerators — and 3-D, state-of-the-art qubits, Fermilab is poised to extend coherence times by orders of magnitude beyond what is currently possible.

The coherence time is a function of the system’s quality factor, colloquially known as the “Q.” Drawing on the lab’s decades of world-leading expertise in superconducting technology and exploiting existing infrastructure, Fermilab scientists and engineers have designed superconducting resonators that routinely achieve a Q more than 1,000 times better than existing resonators used in quantum computing. The resonators’ high Q values could help extend qubit coherence times to potentially 2 or 3 seconds.

Dark SRF

The same technology that is being used to extend qubit coherence times has also found a niche in the weird world of dark photons. Dark photons are hypothetical, subatomic particles — the invisible counterpart to photons, which are particles of light. In the Fermilab Dark SRF experiment, researchers are using superconducting resonators like an antenna, hunting for signals of dark photons and coaxing them out of their hiding place.