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

by G. Catelani, D. M. Basko

Submission summary

As Contributors: Denis Basko · Gianluigi Catelani
Preprint link: scipost_201811_00008v2
Date accepted: 2019-01-21
Date submitted: 2018-12-18 01:00
Submitted by: Basko, Denis
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Discipline: Physics
Subject area: Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
Approach: Theoretical


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.

Ontology / Topics

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Quasiparticles Qubits Superconducting films

Published as SciPost Phys. 6, 013 (2019)

Author comments upon resubmission

Dear Editor,
we submit a revised version of our manuscript. We have taken into account all the Referee's comments, so we are hopeful that the paper can be accepted for publication in its present form.

List of changes

We thank the referee for the comments. We agree with them, here are the details of the modifications.

- We added a figure in the third section, where we show schematically the distribution function in the two regimes.

- In Sec. 3.2, we moved the summary of its results to the end of the section.

- We gave a label to the last equation of Sec. 2 and expanded the discussion in the beginning of Sec. 3.1, to address the last remark of the referee.

- We added the text to the footnote, to clarify how the equation is obtained.

Submission & Refereeing History

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Resubmission scipost_201811_00008v2 on 18 December 2018

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2019-1-7 Invited Report


The authors adequately responded to the comments in my first report. I now fully recommend the publication of their manuscript in SciPost.

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