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Non-equilibrium quasiparticles in superconducting circuits: photons vs. phonons

Gianluigi Catelani, Denis M. Basko

SciPost Phys. 6, 013 (2019) · published 29 January 2019


We study the effect of non-equilibrium quasiparticles on the operation of a superconducting device (a qubit or a resonator), including heating of the quasiparticles by the device operation. Focusing on the competition between heating via low-frequency photon absorption and cooling via photon and phonon emission, we obtain a remarkably simple non-thermal stationary solution of the kinetic equation for the quasiparticle distribution function. We estimate the influence of quasiparticles on relaxation and excitation rates for transmon qubits, and relate our findings to recent experiments.

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