Indexed on: 15 Feb '13Published on: 15 Feb '13Published in: Nature
Hybrid quantum systems with inherently distinct degrees of freedom have a key role in many physical phenomena. Well-known examples include cavity quantum electrodynamics, trapped ions, and electrons and phonons in the solid state. In those systems, strong coupling makes the constituents lose their individual character and form dressed states, which represent a collective form of dynamics. As well as having fundamental importance, hybrid systems also have practical applications, notably in the emerging field of quantum information control. A promising approach is to combine long-lived atomic states with the accessible electrical degrees of freedom in superconducting cavities and quantum bits (qubits). Here we integrate circuit cavity quantum electrodynamics with phonons. Apart from coupling to a microwave cavity, our superconducting transmon qubit, consisting of tunnel junctions and a capacitor, interacts with a phonon mode in a micromechanical resonator, and thus acts like an atom coupled to two different cavities. We measure the phonon Stark shift, as well as the splitting of the qubit spectral line into motional sidebands, which feature transitions between the dressed electromechanical states. In the time domain, we observe coherent conversion of qubit excitation to phonons as sideband Rabi oscillations. This is a model system with potential for a quantum interface, which may allow for storage of quantum information in long-lived phonon states, coupling to optical photons or for investigations of strongly coupled quantum systems near the classical limit.