Universal Quantum Transducers Based on Surface Acoustic Waves

September 11, 2015

Figure 1: SAW as a universal quantum transducer*.

In a new article in Physical Review X*, Harvard Physics scholar Eric Kessler, Prof. Mikhail Lukin, and colleagues from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands propose a universal, on-chip quantum transducer based on surface acoustic waves in piezoactive materials. Because of the intrinsic piezoelectric (and/or magnetostrictive) properties of the material, their approach provides a universal platform capable of coherently linking a broad array of qubits, including quantum dots, trapped ions, nitrogen-vacancy centers, or superconducting qubits. The quantized modes of surface acoustic waves lie in the gigahertz range and can be strongly confined close to the surface in phononic cavities and guided in acoustic waveguides. The authors show that this type of surface acoustic excitation can be utilized efficiently as a quantum bus, serving as an on-chip, mechanical cavity-QED equivalent of microwave photons and enabling long-range coupling of a wide range of qubits. Their research is featured in Physics.

*M.J.A. Schuetz, E.M. Kessler, G. Giedke, L.M.K. Vandersypen, M.D. Lukin, and J.I. Cirac, "Universal Quantum Transducers Based on Surface Acoustic Waves," Phys. Rev. X 5, 031031 (10 September 2015) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.5.031031