Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Phase-preserving amplification near the quantum limit with a Josephson ring modulator

Abstract

Recent progress in solid-state quantum information processing1 has stimulated the search for amplifiers and frequency converters with quantum-limited performance in the microwave range. Depending on the gain applied to the quadratures of a single spatial and temporal mode of the electromagnetic field, linear amplifiers can be classified into two categories (phase sensitive and phase preserving) with fundamentally different noise properties2. Phase-sensitive amplifiers use squeezing to reduce the quantum noise, but are useful only in cases in which a reference phase is attached to the signal, such as in homodyne detection. A phase-preserving amplifier would be preferable in many applications, but such devices have not been available until now. Here we experimentally realize a proposal3 for an intrinsically phase-preserving, superconducting parametric amplifier of non-degenerate type. It is based on a Josephson ring modulator, which consists of four Josephson junctions in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. The device symmetry greatly enhances the purity of the amplification process and simplifies both its operation and its analysis. The measured characteristics of the amplifier in terms of gain and bandwidth are in good agreement with analytical predictions. Using a newly developed noise source, we show that the upper bound on the total system noise of our device under real operating conditions is three times the quantum limit. We foresee applications in the area of quantum analog signal processing, such as quantum non-demolition single-shot readout of qubits4, quantum feedback5 and the production of entangled microwave signal pairs6.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The JPC and its microwave measurement set-up.
Figure 2: Gain of the JPC.
Figure 3: Tuning the bandwidth of the JPC.
Figure 4: Noise measurement of the JPC for a 30-dB gain.

References

  1. Clarke, J. & Wilhelm, F. K. Superconducting quantum bits. Nature 453, 1031–1042 (2008)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Caves, C. M. Quantum limits on noise in linear amplifiers. Phys. Rev. D 26, 1817–1839 (1982)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bergeal, N. et al. Analog information processing at the quantum limit with a Josephson ring modulator. Nature Phys. 6, 296–302 (2010)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Lupaşcu, A. et al. Quantum non-demolition measurement of a superconducting two-level system. Nature Phys. 3, 119–125 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ahn, C., Doherty, A. C. & Landahl, A. J. Continuous quantum error correction via quantum feedback control. Phys. Rev. A 65, 042301 (2002)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Marquardt, F. Efficient on-chip source of microwave photon pairs in superconducting circuit QED. Phys. Rev. B 76, 205416 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Louisell, W. H., Yariv, A. & Siegman, A. E. Quantum fluctuations and noise in parametric processes. I. Phys. Rev. 124, 1646–1654 (1961)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Gordon, J. P., Louisell, W. H. & Walker, L. R. Quantum fluctuations and noise in parametric processes. II. Phys. Rev. 129, 481–485 (1963)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Haus, H. A. & Mullen, J. A. Quantum noise in linear amplifiers. Phys. Rev. 128, 2407–2413 (1962)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Clerk, A. A., Devoret, M. H., Girvin, S. M., Marquardt, F. & Schoelkopf, R. J. Introduction to quantum noise, measurement and amplification. Rev. Mod. Phys. (in the press); preprint at 〈http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.4729〉 (2008)

  11. Castellanos-Beltran, M. A., Irwin, K. D., Hilton, G. C., Vale, L. R. & Lehnert, K. W. Amplification and squeezing of quantum noise with a tunable Josephson metamaterial. Nature Phys. 4, 928–931 (2008)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Castellanos-Beltran, M. A. & Lehnert, K. W. Widely tunable parametric amplifier based on a superconducting quantum interference device array resonator. Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 083509 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Yamamoto, T. et al. Flux-driven Josephson parametric amplifier. Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 042510 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Yurke, B. et al. Observation of parametric amplification and deamplification in a Josephson parametric amplifier. Phys. Rev. A 39, 2519–2533 (1989)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Yurke, B. Observation of 4.2-K equilibrium-noise squeezing via a Josephson-parametric amplifier. Phys. Rev. Lett. 60, 764–767 (1988)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Movshovich, R. et al. Observation of zero-point noise squeezing via a Josephson-parametric amplifier. Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 1419–1422 (1990)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. André, M.-O., Mück, M., Clarke, J., Gail, J. & Heiden, C. Radio-frequency amplifier with tenth-kelvin noise temperature based on a microstrip direct current superconducting quantum interference device. Appl. Phys. Lett. 75, 698–700 (1999)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Spietz, L., Irwin, K. & Aumentado, J. Input impedance and gain of a gigahertz amplifier using a dc superconducting quantum interference device in a quarter wave resonator. Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 082506 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Kinion, D. & Clarke, J. Microstrip superconducting quantum interference device radio-frequency amplifier: scattering parameters and input coupling. Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 172503 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Santavicca, D. F. et al. Energy resolution of terahertz single-photon-sensitive bolometric detectors. Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 083505 (2010)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

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

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Manucharyan, V. E., Koch, J., Glazman, L. I. & Devoret, M. H. Single Cooper-pair circuit free of charge offsets. Science 326, 113–116 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Mallet, F. et al. Single-shot qubit readout in circuit quantum electrodynamics. Nature Phys. 5, 791–795 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Metcalfe, M. et al. Measuring the decoherence of a quantronium qubit with the cavity bifurcation amplifier. Phys. Rev. B 76, 174516 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Boulant, N. et al. Quantum nondemolition readout using a Josephson bifurcation amplifier. Phys. Rev. B 76, 014525 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Vijay, R., Devoret, M. H. & Siddiqi, I. The Josephson bifurcation amplifier. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 111101 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Prober, D. E. et al. Ultrasensitive quantum-limited far-infrared STJ detectors. IEEE Trans. Appl. Superconduct. 17, 241–245 (2007)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Steinbach, A. H., Martinis, J. M. & Devoret, M. H. Observation of hot-electron shot noise in a metallic resistor. Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 3806–3809 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Nagaev, K. E. Influence on electron-electron scattering on shot noise in diffusive contact. Phys. Rev. B 52, 4740–4743 (1995)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Pothier, H., Gueron, S., Birge, N. O., Esteve, D. & Devoret, M. H. Energy distribution function of quasiparticles in mesoscopic wires. Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 3490–3493 (1997)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank B. Abdo for his reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by the US National Security Agency through the US Army Research Office grant W911NF-05-01-0365, the W. M. Keck Foundation, and the US National Science Foundation through grant DMR-032-5580. M.H.D. acknowledges partial support from the College de France and from the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

N.B. and L.F. fabricated the device. N.B., assisted by F.S. and M.M., performed the measurements. N.B. and M.H.D. carried out the analysis of the results and wrote the paper. R.V., V.E.M., R.J.S. and S.M.G. contributed extensively to discussions of the results. D.E.P. suggested the hot-electron noise source for calibration. R.J.S. contributed through his knowledge of ultralow-noise microwave circuits and measurements.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to N. Bergeal or M. H. Devoret.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Additional information

Readers are welcome to comment on the online version of this article at www.nature.com/nature.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

This file contains Supplementary Information and Data, Supplementary Tables 1-3, Supplementary Figures 1-5 with legends and References. (PDF 637 kb)

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bergeal, N., Schackert, F., Metcalfe, M. et al. Phase-preserving amplification near the quantum limit with a Josephson ring modulator. Nature 465, 64–68 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09035

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09035

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.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing