Section: Research Program
Quantum engineering: controlled quantum systems
Participants : Joachim Cohen, Loïc Herviou, Mazyar Mirrahimi, Pierre Rouchon, Pierre Six.
These research activities are done in collaboration with the permanent researchers of the future QUANTIC project-team, members of Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, Benjamin Huard (CNRS), François Mallet (UPMC). They have benefited from important scientific exchanges and collaborations with the teams of Serge Haroche, Jean-Michel Raimond and Michel Brune at Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (LKB) and Collège de France and those of Michel Devoret and Robert Schoelkopf at the Department of Applied Physics of Yale University.
The collaborations with the team of LKB have led to the first experimental realization of a real-time quantum feedback protocol allowing us to stabilize a highly non-classical state of quantum field trapped inside a microwave cavity  . This major breakthrough has been particularly highlighted in the 2012 physics Nobel prize attributed to Serge Haroche.
By focusing on two different but similar types of experimental setups, consisting of cavity quantum electro-dynamical systems and quantum Josephson circuits, we aim to prepare highly non-classical states of a micro-wave field and protect these states against decoherence. Two different approaches are considered: 1- real-time measurement, quantum filtering and feedback; 2- dissipation engineering also called reservoir engineering. Through the first methodology, we try to propose new experimental feedback protocols based on a fast real-time processing of measurement signal, followed by a state estimation applying the filtered signal and finally designing simple feedback laws based on the estimated state. The second methodology consists in designing new quantum circuit schemes that allow to orient the system's coupling to its environment in such a way that evacuates the undesired entropy induced by un-controlled noise sources.
Measurement based feedback
In the framework of the PhD thesis of Hadis Amini  , we have developed the mathematical methods  ,  ,  underlying a recent quantum feedback experiment stabilizing photon-number states  . We consider a controlled system whose quantum state, a finite dimensional density operator, is governed by a discrete-time nonlinear Markov process. In open-loop, the measurements are assumed to be quantum non-demolition (QND) measurements. This Markov process admits a set of stationary pure states associated to an orthonormal basis. These stationary states provide martingales crucial to prove the open-loop stability: under simple assumptions, almost all trajectories converge to one of these stationary states; the probability to converge to a stationary state is given by its overlap with the initial quantum state. From these open-loop martingales, we construct a supermartingale whose parameters are given by inverting a Metzler matrix characterizing the impact of the control input on the Kraus operators defining the Markov process. This supermartingale measures the "distance" between the current quantum state and the goal state chosen from one of the open-loop stationary pure states. At each step, the control input minimizes the conditional expectation of this distance. It is proven that the resulting feedback scheme stabilizes almost surely towards the goal state whatever the initial quantum state. This state feedback takes into account a known constant delay of arbitrary length in the control loop. This control strategy is proved to remain also convergent when the state is replaced by its estimate based on a quantum filter. It relies on measurements that can be corrupted by random errors with conditional probabilities described by a known left stochastic matrix. Closed-loop simulations corroborated by experimental data illustrate the interest of such nonlinear feedback scheme for the photon box.
In the framework of the postdoctoral stay of Ram Abhinav Somaraju within our group, we generalized these methods to infinite dimensional quantum stochastic systems  . Through this work, we studied the approximate state feedback stabilization of an infinite dimensional quantum stochastic system towards a target state. We can choose an (unbounded) strict Lyapunov function that is minimized at each time-step in order to prove (weak-) convergence of probability measures to a final state that is concentrated on the target state with (a pre-specified) probability that may be made arbitrarily close to 1. The feedback parameters and the Lyapunov function are chosen so that the stochastic flow that describes the Markov process may be shown to be tight (concentrated on a compact set with probability arbitrarily close to 1). We then use Prohorov's theorem and properties of the Lyapunov function to prove the desired convergence result.
We have also investigated the stabilization of the dynamical state of a superconducting qubit  ,  ,  . In a series of papers, A. Korotkov and his co-workers suggested that continuous weak measurement of the state of a qubit and applying an appropriate feedback on the amplitude of a Rabi drive, should maintain the coherence of the Rabi oscillations for arbitrary time. Here, in the aim of addressing a metrological application of these persistent Rabi oscillations, we explore a new variant of such strategies. This variant is based on performing strong measurements in a discrete manner and using the measurement record to correct the phase of the Rabi oscillations. Noting that such persistent Rabi oscillations can be viewed as an amplitude- to-frequency convertor (converting the amplitude of the Rabi microwave drive to a precise frequency), we propose another feedback layer consisting of a simple analog phase locked loop to compensate the low frequency deviations in the amplitude of the Rabi drive.
In the framework of the PhD thesis of Zaki Leghtas  , we have introduced a new quantum gate that transfers an arbitrary state of a qubit into a superposition of two quasi-orthogonal coherent states of a cavity mode, with opposite phases  . This qcMAP gate is based on conditional qubit and cavity operations exploiting the energy level dispersive shifts, in the regime where they are much stronger than the cavity and qubit linewidths. The generation of multi-component superpositions of quasi-orthogonal coherent states  , non-local entangled states of two resonators and multi-qubit GHZ states can be efficiently achieved by this gate. We also propose a new method, based on the application of this gate, to autonomously correct for errors of a logical qubit induced by energy relaxation. This scheme encodes the logical qubit as a multi-component superposition of coherent states in a harmonic oscillator. The error correction is performed by transferring the entropy to an ancila qubit and reseting the qubit. We layout in detail how to implement these operations in a practical system. We directly addresses the task of building a hardware-efficient and technically realizable quantum memory.
We have also studied the application of dissipation engineering techniques to perform a high-performance and fast qubit reset  . Qubit rest is crucial at the start of and during quantum information algorithms. Our protocol, nicknamed DDROP (Double Drive Reset of Population) is experimentally tested on a superconducting transmon qubit and achieves a ground state preparation of at least 99.5 in times less than 3s; faster and higher fidelity are predicted upon parameter optimization.