Fei Yan, Simon Gustavsson, Archana Kamal, Jeffrey Birenbaum, Adam P. Sears, David Hover, Ted J. Gudmundsen, Danna Rosenberg, Gabriel Samach, S. Weber, Jonilyn L. Yoder, Terry P. Orlando, John Clarke, Andrew J. Kerman, William D. Oliver
The scalable application of quantum information science will stand on reproducible and controllable high-coherence quantum bits (qubits). Here, we revisit the design and fabrication of the superconducting flux qubit, achieving a planar device with broad-frequency tunability, strong anharmonicity, high reproducibility and relaxation times in excess of 40 μs at its flux-insensitive point. Qubit relaxation times T1 across 22 qubits are consistently matched with a single model involving resonator loss, ohmic charge noise and 1/f-flux noise, a noise source previously considered primarily in the context of dephasing. We furthermore demonstrate that qubit dephasing at the flux-insensitive point is dominated by residual thermal-photons in the readout resonator. The resulting photon shot noise is mitigated using a dynamical decoupling protocol, resulting in T2≈85 μs, approximately the 2T1 limit. In addition to realizing an improved flux qubit, our results uniquely identify photon shot noise as limiting T2 in contemporary qubits based on transverse qubit–resonator interaction.