Phonon-mediated quantum state transfer and remote qubit entanglement

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Science  26 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6438, pp. 368-371
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw8415

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Good vibrations in quantum communication

Quantum information processing platforms typically require qubits to talk to each other. To date, photons (either optical or microwave) have been the carrier of choice to transfer quantum states between the qubits. For some solid-state systems, however, the vibrational properties of the materials themselves, phonons, could be advantageous. Bienfait et al. describe the deterministic emission and capture of itinerant phonons through an acoustic communication channel, enabling the phonon-based coherent transfer of quantum states from one superconducting qubit to another and the quantum entanglement of the two qubits over the acoustic channel. The results provide a route to couple hybrid quantum solid-state systems using surface acoustic waves.

Science, this issue p. 368


Phonons, and in particular surface acoustic wave phonons, have been proposed as a means to coherently couple distant solid-state quantum systems. Individual phonons in a resonant structure can be controlled and detected by superconducting qubits, enabling the coherent generation and measurement of complex stationary phonon states. We report the deterministic emission and capture of itinerant surface acoustic wave phonons, enabling the quantum entanglement of two superconducting qubits. Using a 2-millimeter-long acoustic quantum communication channel, equivalent to a 500-nanosecond delay line, we demonstrate the emission and recapture of a phonon by one superconducting qubit, quantum state transfer between two superconducting qubits with a 67% efficiency, and, by partial transfer of a phonon, generation of an entangled Bell pair with a fidelity of 84%.

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