Disentangling the sources of ionizing radiation in superconducting qubits

L. Cardani, I. Colantoni, A. Cruciani, F. De Dominicis, G. D’Imperio, M. Laubenstein, A. Mariani*, L. Pagnanini, S. Pirro, C. Tomei, N. Casali, F. Ferroni, D. Frolov, L. Gironi, A. Grassellino, M. Junker, C. Kopas, E. Lachman, C. R.H. McRae, J. MutusM. Nastasi, D. P. Pappas, R. Pilipenko, M. Sisti, V. Pettinacci, A. Romanenko, D. Van Zanten, M. Vignati, J. D. Withrow, N. Z. Zhelev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radioactivity was recently discovered as a source of decoherence and correlated errors for the real-world implementation of superconducting quantum processors. In this work, we measure levels of radioactivity present in a typical laboratory environment (from muons, neutrons, and γ-rays emitted by naturally occurring radioactive isotopes) and in the most commonly used materials for the assembly and operation of state-of-the-art superconducting qubits. We present a GEANT-4 based simulation to predict the rate of impacts and the amount of energy released in a qubit chip from each of the mentioned sources. We finally propose mitigation strategies for the operation of next-generation qubits in a radio-pure environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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