Quantum computing based on Josephson junction technology is considered promising due to its scalable architecture. However, decoherence is a major obstacle. Here, we report evidence for improved Josephson quantum bits (qubits) using a single-crystal Al2 O3 tunnel barrier. We have found an ∼ 80% reduction in the density of the spectral splittings that indicate the existence of two-level fluctators (TLFs) in amorphous tunnel barriers. The residual ∼20% TLFs can be attributed to interfacial effects that may be further reduced by different electrode materials. These results show that decoherence sources in the tunnel barrier of Josephson qubits can be identified and eliminated.