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Quantum technologies with hybrid systems

  • Kurizki, Gershon
  • Bertet, Patrice
  • Kubo, Yuimaru
  • Mølmer, Klaus
  • Petrosyan, David
  • Rabl, Peter
  • Schmiedmayer, Jörg
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
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An extensively pursued current direction of research in physics aims at the development of practical technologies that exploit the effects of quantum mechanics. As part of this ongoing effort, devices for quantum information processing, secure communication, and high-precision sensing are being implemented with diverse systems, ranging from photons, atoms, and spins to mesoscopic superconducting and nanomechanical structures. Their physical properties make some of these systems better suited than others for specific tasks; thus, photons are well suited for transmitting quantum information, weakly interacting spins can serve as long-lived quantum memories, and superconducting elements can rapidly process information encoded in their quantum states. A central goal of the envisaged quantum technologies is to develop devices that can simultaneously perform several of these tasks, namely, reliably store, process, and transmit quantum information. Hybrid quantum systems composed of different physical components with complementary functionalities may provide precisely such multitasking capabilities. This article reviews some of the driving theoretical ideas and first experimental realizations of hybrid quantum systems and the opportunities and challenges they present and offers a glance at the near-and long-term perspectives of this fascinating and rapidly expanding field. hybrid quantum systems | quantum technologies | quantum information During the last several decades, quantum physics has evolved from being primarily the conceptual framework for the description of microscopic phenomena to providing inspiration for new technological applications. A range of ideas for quantum information processing (1) and secure communication (2, 3), quantum enhanced sensing (4–8), and the simulation of complex dynamics (9–14) has given rise to expectations that society may before long benefit from such quantum technologies. These developments are driven by our rapidly evolving abilities to experimentally manipulate and control quantum dynamics in diverse systems, ranging from single photons (2, 13), atoms and ions (11, 12), and individual electron and nuclear spins (15–17), to mesoscopic super-conducting (14, 18) and nanomechanical devices (19, 20). As a rule, each of these systems can execute one or a few specific tasks, but no single system can be universally suitable for all envisioned applications. Thus, photons are best suited for transmitting quantum information, weakly interacting spins may serve as long-lived quantum memories , and the dynamics of electronic states of atoms or electric charges in semiconductors and superconducting elements may realize rapid processing of information encoded in their quantum states. The implementation of devices that can simultaneously perform several or all of these tasks, e.g., reliably store, process, and transmit quantum states, calls for a new paradigm: that of hybrid quantum systems (HQSs) (15, 21–24). HQSs attain their multitasking capabilities by combining different physical components with complementary functionalities. Many of the early ideas for HQSs emerged from the field of quantum information processing and communication (QIPC) and were, to a large extent, inspired by the development of QIPC architectures in which superconducting qubits are coupled to high-quality microwave resonators (18, 25). Super-conducting qubits are very-well-controlled quantum systems (26, 27), but in contrast to atoms, they suffer from comparatively short coherence times and do not couple coherently to optical photons. A microwave resonator, such as, for example, a lumped-element LC-circuit or coplanar waveguide (CPW) res-onator, can serve as an interface between superconducting qubits and also between superconducting qubits and other quantum systems with longer coherence times and optical transitions (18, 22, 23, 28). It has thus been proposed to couple superconducting qubits, via a " microwave quantum bus, " to ions (29), atoms (30–32), polar molecules (33), electrons confined above a liquid helium surface (34), and spin-doped crystals (15, 35–37). With the recent advances in the control of micro-and nanomechanical systems (19, 20), the use of a mechanical quantum bus has

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