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Helmer, Ferdinand (2009): Quantum information processing and measurement in circuit quantum electrodynamics. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

In this thesis, experimentally relevant aspects and open questions of quantum information processing and measurement in circuit quantum electrodynamics have been investigated theoretically. Circuit quantum electrodynamics is a relatively young field combining superconducting transmission line resonators on-chip with superconducting quantum bits which serve as artificial atoms. Remarkable experiments have underlined the prospects of circuit QED as a possible architecture for quantum information processing as well as a framework within which quantum optics experiments can be performed. In contrast to their optical counterparts, these experiments reach the ultra-strong coupling limit and allow e.g. the generation of Fock states, the study of decoherence and the observation of quantum jumps. We present the physics of superconducting circuits based on the Josephson junction as a non-linear circuit element. We discuss the various types of quantum bits (qubits) before turning to an introduction on cavity QED and conclude the introduction with a brief presentation of the most relevant experiments and a short introduction to the principles and prospects of quantum information processing. Building on the pioneering theoretical and experimental work in which up to three qubits have been integrated on a chip and successfully coupled via a cavity mode, we propose a scheme to overcome the natural limits concerning scalability in these systems. Usually, scalability is severely limited by the resonance width of the qubit transitions and the attainable frequency range for both qubit transition and cavity resonance frequencies. This limits the present setups to at most ten qubits. As a possible solution, we propose and investigate a cross-bar grid layout of cavities with qubits at the intersections. It turns out that this setup, allowing for up to about 1000 qubits, offers significant advantages over e.g. nearest-neighbor coupling schemes. In addition, it can serve as a building block for a truly scalable scheme for fault-tolerant quantum information processing with superconducting circuits by combining 7x7 arrays in a staircase manner. Furthermore, we discuss and simulate different possibilities to improve upon the suggested scheme by e.g. using resonant gates and optimal control theory. Another focus of the present thesis is measurement physics. In order to investigate e.g. the possibilities of using a circuit QED system to dispersively detect single microwave photons or to generate multi-qubit entangled states, we introduce in a pedagogical manner the basics of stochastic master equations which generate quantum trajectories before turning to concrete applications. Quantum trajectories have proven to be a state-of-the-art tool to analyze measurement situations in a very realistic manner by giving access to both the measurement record as well as the internal quantum dynamics conditioned on this record. Using the method of quantum trajectories as generated by stochastic master equations, we discuss a scheme to efficiently generate multi-qubit entangled states in a very flexible way. The method is based on a collective, dispersive qubit readout. By this measurement, a suitable product state of N qubits can be reliably converted into e.g. an N-qubit Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger or W state. We propose and discuss the scheme and investigate the effects of decoherence and parameter spread as they would be encountered in experiment. Last but not least, we propose and fully analyze a scheme to dispersively detect single itinerant microwave photons. While experiments to generate single microwave photons have already been successfully performed, their single-shot quantum non-demolition detection has not been possible so far. The scheme presented in this thesis closes this gap in the circuit QED toolbox and reaches detection efficiencies of 30% only limited by fundamental quantum mechanics in this case the Quantum Zeno effect. This detection scheme could be used in quantum communication or quantum cryptography applications.