Letter | Published:

Single artificial-atom lasing

Nature volume 449, pages 588590 (04 October 2007) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Solid-state superconducting circuits1,2,3 are versatile systems in which quantum states can be engineered and controlled. Recent progress in this area has opened up exciting possibilities for exploring fundamental physics as well as applications in quantum information technology; in a series of experiments4,5,6,7,8 it was shown that such circuits can be exploited to generate quantum optical phenomena, by designing superconducting elements as artificial atoms that are coupled coherently to the photon field of a resonator. Here we demonstrate a lasing effect with a single artificial atom—a Josephson-junction charge qubit9—embedded in a superconducting resonator. We make use of one of the properties of solid-state artificial atoms, namely that they are strongly and controllably coupled to the resonator modes. The device is essentially different from existing lasers and masers; one and the same artificial atom excited by current injection produces many photons.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , & Quantum-state engineering with Josephson-junction devices. Rev. Mod. Phys. 73, 357–400 (2001)

  2. 2.

    , & Superconducting qubits: A short review. Preprint at 〈〉 (2004)

  3. 3.

    & in Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology Vol. 3 (eds Rieth, M. & Schommers, W.) 223–309 (American Scientific Publishers, Los Angeles, 2006)

  4. 4.

    et al. Strong coupling of a single photon to a superconducting qubit using circuit quantum electrodynamics. Nature 431, 162–167 (2004)

  5. 5.

    et al. Coherent dynamics of a flux qubit coupled to a harmonic oscillator. Nature 431, 159–161 (2004)

  6. 6.

    et al. Vacuum Rabi oscillations in a macroscopic superconducting qubit LC oscillator system. Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 127006 (2006)

  7. 7.

    et al. Resolving photon number states in a superconducting circuit. Nature 445, 515–518 (2007)

  8. 8.

    et al. Generating single microwave photons in a circuit. Preprint at 〈〉 (2007)

  9. 9.

    , & Coherent control of macroscopic quantum states in a single-Cooper-pair box. Nature 398, 786–788 (1999)

  10. 10.

    , & Manipulating quantum entanglement with atoms and photons in a cavity. Rev. Mod. Phys. 73, 565–582 (2001)

  11. 11.

    & Cavity quantum electrodynamics: Coherence in context. Science 298, 1372–1377 (2002)

  12. 12.

    et al. Cavity quantum electrodynamics. Rep. Prog. Phys. 69, 1325–1382 (2006)

  13. 13.

    , , , & Experimental realization of a one-atom laser in the regime of strong coupling. Nature 425, 268–271 (2003)

  14. 14.

    et al. Strong coupling in a single quantum dot-semiconductor microcavity system. Nature 432, 197–200 (2004)

  15. 15.

    et al. Vacuum Rabi splitting with a single quantum dot in a photonic crystal nanocavity. Nature 432, 200–203 (2004)

  16. 16.

    & Photon statistics of a cavity-QED laser: A comment on the laser-phase transition analogy. Phys. Rev. A 50, 4318–4329 (1994)

  17. 17.

    & One-atom lasers. Phys. Rev. A 46, 5944–5954 (1992)

  18. 18.

    , & Quantum dynamics of a resonator driven by a superconducting single-electron transistor: A solid-state analogue of the micromaser. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 067204 (2007)

  19. 19.

    , , & Persistent single-photon production by tunable on-chip micromaser with a superconducting qubit circuit. Phys. Rev. B 75, 104516 (2007)

  20. 20.

    , , , & Single-qubit lasing and cooling at the Rabi frequency. Preprint at 〈〉 (2007)

  21. 21.

    & Resonance tunneling of Cooper pairs in a system of small Josephson junctions. JETP Lett. 50, 367–369 (1989)

  22. 22.

    , , , & Observation of combined Josephson and charging effects in small tunnel junction circuits. Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 1307–1310 (1989)

  23. 23.

    Lasers (University Science Books, Mill Valley, 1986)

Download references

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to A. Zagoskin, A. Smirnov, L. Murokh, S. Kouno, A. Tomita and A. Clerk for discussions.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. NEC Nano Electronics Research Laboratories, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8501, Japan

    • O. Astafiev
    • , T. Yamamoto
    • , Yu. A. Pashkin
    • , Y. Nakamura
    •  & J. S. Tsai
  2. The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

    • O. Astafiev
    • , K. Inomata
    • , T. Yamamoto
    • , Yu. A. Pashkin
    • , Y. Nakamura
    •  & J. S. Tsai
  3. CREST-JST, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan

    • A. O. Niskanen
    • , T. Yamamoto
    • , Y. Nakamura
    •  & J. S. Tsai
  4. VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Sensors, POB 1000, 02044 VTT, Espoo, Finland

    • A. O. Niskanen

Authors

  1. Search for O. Astafiev in:

  2. Search for K. Inomata in:

  3. Search for A. O. Niskanen in:

  4. Search for T. Yamamoto in:

  5. Search for Yu. A. Pashkin in:

  6. Search for Y. Nakamura in:

  7. Search for J. S. Tsai in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to O. Astafiev.

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06141

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.