Imaging photon lattice states by scanning defect microscopy

D. L. Underwood, W. E. Shanks, Andy C Y Li, Lamia Ateshian, Jens Koch, A. A. Houck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Microwave photons inside lattices of coupled resonators and superconducting qubits can exhibit surprising matterlike behavior. Realizing such open-system quantum simulators presents an experimental challenge and requires new tools and measurement techniques. Here, we introduce scanning defect microscopy as one such tool and illustrate its use in mapping the normal-mode structure of microwave photons inside a 49-site kagome lattice of coplanar waveguide resonators. Scanning is accomplished by moving a probe equipped with a sapphire tip across the lattice. This locally perturbs resonator frequencies and induces shifts of the lattice resonance frequencies, which we determine by measuring the transmission spectrum. From the magnitude of mode shifts, we can reconstruct photon field amplitudes at each lattice site and thus create spatial images of the photon-lattice normal modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021044
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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