Circuit Quantum Thermodynamics - from photonic heat transport to ultra-sensitive nanocalorimetry

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School of Science | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2022-04-05
Degree programme
158 + app. 180
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL THESES, 41/2022
Quantum thermodynamics deals with open quantum systems. The word 'open' here means that the system is interacting with its environment, which in the thermodynamics context is a heat bath. Presently a lot of activity is devoted to questions in heat transport, heat engines, refrigerators and ultra-sensitive detectors facilitated by quantum systems as working medium. In this thesis, we investigate both experimentally and theoretically phenomena and devices in quantum thermodynamics realized by superconducting and metal circuits on a chip at low millikelvin temperatures. This is a novel area of research coined circuit quantum thermodynamics, cQTD. The building blocks in the experiments are formed of harmonic oscillators (superconducting cavities), non-linear oscillators (Josephson junctions), and heat baths formed of resistors and phonons on the chip substrate. These systems form well-characterized elements that can be described theoretically, quantitatively accurately, by means of theoretical tools applied earlier to structures in mesoscopic physics. What is new here is the full thermal description of these systems, including various thermal transport mechanisms, like radiative heat by thermal microwave photons, electronic heat transport in metals, superconductors and tunnel contacts, and electron-phonon heat transport. There are two central topics on which we present new results in the thesis. The first one is the utilization of photonic heat transport on a chip. We develop a theoretical model for a quantum Otto refrigerator, where a superconducting qubit is coupled alternately to two different heat baths, and by the cyclic variation of the qubit energy by external field one can pump heat from the cold bath to the hot one. We demonstrate explicitly the quantum contribution in this heat arising from coherences built into the qubit. We then propose ideas and develop theoretical models to describe superconducting transmon qubit-based quantum heat valves and rectifiers that were realized experimentally in our laboratory during the course of this thesis. The experimental achievement of the thesis is the demonstration of an ultra-sensitive thermal detector reaching the ultimate noise level dictated by the fundamental thermal fluctuations. This allows us to consider the scheme of detecting single microwave photons in a continuous manner, calorimetrically. The key ingredients of the calorimeter are an ultrasensitive proximity supercurrent thermometer (ZBA thermometer) and a tiny proximitized normal metal absorber. A scheme of coupling a superconducting qubit to this calorimeter is presented and we conclude positively about the possibility of having sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in detecting a photon emitted by it. As a final boost to enhance the SNR, we propose splitting of the photon to two uncorrelated baths and performing a cross-correlation measurement of their temperatures.
Defence is held on 5.4.2022 16:00 – 20:00 Zoom:
Supervising professor
Pekola, Jukka P., Prof., Aalto University, Department of Applied Physics, Finland
quantum thermodynamics, thermometry, nanocalorimetry, quantum heat transport, superconducting circuits, mesoscopic devices
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: B. Karimi and J. P. Pekola. Otto refrigerator based on a superconducting qubit: Classical and quantum performance. Phys. Rev. B, 94, 184503, November 2016.
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.184503 View at publisher
  • [Publication 2]: B. Karimi, J. P. Pekola, M. Campisi and R. Fazio. Coupled qubits as a quantum heat switch. Quantum Sci. Technol., 2, 044007, August 2017.
    DOI: 10.1088/2058-9565/aa8330 View at publisher
  • [Publication 3]: Bayan Karimi and Jukka P. Pekola. Correlated versus uncorrelated noise acting on a quantum refrigerator. Phys. Rev. B, 96, 115408, September 2017.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.96.115408 View at publisher
  • [Publication 4]: Jukka P. Pekola and Bayan Karimi. Quantum noise of electron–phonon heat current. J. Low Temp. Phys., 191, 373, January 2018.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1007/s10909-018-1854-y View at publisher
  • [Publication 5]: Alberto Ronzani, Bayan Karimi, Jorden Senior, Yu-Cheng Chang, Joonas T. Peltonen, ChiiDong Chen, and Jukka P. Pekola. Tunable photonic heat transport in a quantum heat valve. Nat. Phys., 14, 991, July 2018.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1038/s41567-018-0199-4 View at publisher
  • [Publication 6]: Bayan Karimi and Jukka P. Pekola. Noninvasive thermometer based on the zero-bias anomaly of a superconducting junction for ultrasensitive calorimetry. Phys. Rev. Appl., 10, 054048, November 2018.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.10.054048 View at publisher
  • [Publication 7]: Yu-Cheng Chang, Bayan Karimi, Jorden Senior, Alberto Ronzani, Joonas T. Peltonen, Hsi-Sheng Goan, Chii-Dong Chen, and Jukka P. Pekola. Utilization of the superconducting transition for characterizing low-quality-factor superconducting resonators. Appl. Phys. Lett., 115, 022601, July 2019.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1063/1.5098310 View at publisher
  • [Publication 8]: Jukka P. Pekola, Bayan Karimi, George Thomas, and Dmitri V. Averin. Supremacy of incoherent sudden cycles. Phys. Rev. B, 100, 085405, August 2019.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.100.085405 View at publisher
  • [Publication 9]: Bayan Karimi, Fredrik Brange, Peter Samuelsson, and Jukka P. Pekola. Reaching the ultimate energy resolution of a quantum detector. Nat. Commun., 11, 367, January 2020.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-14247-2 View at publisher
  • [Publication 10]: Jorden Senior, Azat Gubaydullin, Bayan Karimi, Joonas T. Peltonen, Joachim Ankerhold, and Jukka P. Pekola. Heat rectification via a superconducting artificial atom. Commun. Phys., 3, 40, February 2020.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1038/s42005-020-0307-5 View at publisher
  • [Publication 11]: Bayan Karimi and Jukka P. Pekola. Quantum trajectory analysis of single microwave photon detection by nanocalorimetry. Phys. Rev. Lett., 124, 170601, April 2020.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.170601 View at publisher
  • [Publication 12]: Bayan Karimi, Danilo Nikolic´, Tuomas Tuukkanen, Joonas T. Peltonen, Wolfgang Belzig, and Jukka P. Pekola. Optimized proximity thermometer for ultrasensitive detection. Phys. Rev. Appl., 13, 054001, May 2020.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.13.054001 View at publisher
  • DOI: 10.1063/5.0031315 View at publisher
  • [Publication 14]: Jukka P. Pekola and Bayan Karimi. Colloquium: Quantum heat transport in condensed matter systems. Rev. Mod. Phys., 93, 041001, October 2021.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.93.041001 View at publisher
  • [Publication 15]: Jukka P. Pekola and Bayan Karimi. Ultrasensitive calorimetric detection of single photons from qubit decay. Phys. Rev. X, 12, 011026, February 2022.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.12.011026 View at publisher
  • [Publication 16]: Bayan Karimi and Jukka P. Pekola. Down-conversion of quantum fluctuations of photonic heat current in a circuit. Phys. Rev. B, 104, 165418, October 2021.
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.104.165418 View at publisher