Circulation by microwave-induced vortex transport for signal isolation

TitleCirculation by microwave-induced vortex transport for signal isolation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsRichman, B, Taylor, JM
JournalPRX Quantum
Date Published6/14/2021

Magnetic fields break time-reversal symmetry, which is leveraged in many settings to enable the nonreciprocal behavior of light. This is the core physics of circulators and other elements used in a variety of microwave and optical settings. Commercial circulators in the microwave domain typically use ferromagnetic materials and wave interference, requiring large devices and large fields. However, quantum information devices for sensing and computation require small sizes, lower fields, and better on-chip integration. Equivalences to ferromagnetic order---such as the XY model---can be realized at much lower magnetic fields by using arrays of superconducting islands connected by Josephson junctions. Here we show that the quantum-coherent motion of a single vortex in such an array suffices to induce nonreciprocal behavior, enabling a small-scale, moderate-bandwidth, and low insertion loss circulator at very low magnetic fields and at microwave frequencies relevant for experiments with qubits.