Control of heat in superconducting microwave circuits

Matti Partanen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Circuit quantum electrodynamics offers versatile opportunities for various discoveries infundamental physics, as well as for different applications such as sensitive detectors and, ultimately, even a large-scale quantum computer. Since these devices work at cryogenictemperatures and excess heat is a substantial source of errors, it is of great importance to controlthe heat. In this thesis, several techniques for heat control are experimentally investigated. We study heattransfer carried by photons between two heat baths, as well as heat flow between superconductingresonators and their environment. In particular, the focus is on using normal-metal componentsto enhance the operation of superconducting microwave circuits operating at the level of singleenergy quanta. First, we investigate long-distance single-channel heat conduction near the quantum limit, i.e.,the quantum of thermal conductance. As compared to earlier experiments, the distance is increasedby a factor of 10,000. In addition, we demonstrate emission and absorption of photons in amicrowave resonator by photon-assisted tunneling in normal-metal–insulator–superconductorjunctions. Another approach for absorbing photons is to use a normal-metal resistor in asuperconducting resonator with a tunable resonance frequency. Finally, we realize a circuitconsisting of two resonators with a singularity in the parameter space, known as an exceptionalpoint. In our circuit, the exceptional point enables the fastest possible heat transfer between thetwo resonators without back and forth oscillation. In the future, these methods may find applications in different cryogenic devices, including a fastinitialization of qubits. Furthermore, the methods may be utilized in the experimental studies offundamental physics, including further investigations of exceptional points in differentconfigurations.
Translated title of the contributionLämmönsäätely suprajohtavissa mikroaaltopiireissä
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Pekola, Jukka, Supervising Professor
  • Möttönen, Mikko, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-8461-9
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8462-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • superconducting microwave circuit
  • tunnel junction
  • quantum of thermal conductance
  • photon-assisted tunneling
  • quantum-circuit refrigerator
  • heat sink
  • exceptional point


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