MQV Colloquium: Ioan Pop

The MQV Colloquia feature interdisciplinary talks given by local as well as invited international experts. The colloquia, which are accessible to a worldwide audience via videoconference, cover all aspects of quantum technologies, with a focus on MQV research activities. The goal of the series is to establish and strengthen connections with quantum-technology experts worldwide and to provide a platform for education and scientific exchange for and with the local quantum ecosystem.

"Observation of Josephson Harmonics in Tunnel Junctions"

Ioan Pop – KIT


Superconducting quantum processors have a long road ahead to reach fault-tolerant quantum computing. One of the most daunting challenges is taming the numerous microscopic degrees of freedom ubiquitous in solid-state devices. State-of-the-art technologies, including the world's largest quantum processors, employ aluminum oxide (AlOx) tunnel Josephson junctions (JJs) as sources of nonlinearity, assuming an idealized pure sin(phi) current-phase relation (CPR). However, this celebrated sin(phi) CPR is only expected to occur in the unrealistic limit of vanishingly low-transparency channels in the AlOx barrier. We show that the standard CPR fails to describe the energy spectra of transmon artificial atoms across various samples and laboratories. Instead, a mesoscopic model of tunneling through an inhomogeneous AlOx barrier predicts %-level contributions from higher Josephson harmonics. By including these in the transmon Hamiltonian, we obtain orders of magnitude better agreement between the computed and measured energy spectra. The reality of Josephson harmonics transforms qubit design and prompts a reevaluation of models for quantum gates, parametric amplification and mixing, Floquet qubits, protected Josephson Rhombus chains, etc.

Short bio

Ioan Pop is a joint professor at KIT and Stuttgart University, following the so-called Jülicher model. This means the research group is located at KIT, with a presence in both the north and south campuses (integrated in the Helmholtz Association), and the teaching duties are at Stuttgart University. His research focuses on superconducting quantum circuits.

Please join our online colloquium series via Zoom at:
Meeting ID: 641 5865 4884, Passcode: 823197