Investigating Quasiparticle Poisoning in Floating Hybrid Double Dot Devices Using Gate-Based Sensing
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One of the essential limitations for a physical realisation of topological-qubit based quantum computing is the problem of uncontrolled quasiparticle poisoning of the superconducting charge island. These quasiparticles have been previously reported as a known limiting factor in most of the superconducting architectures. To this end, we consider the importance of equilibrium quasiparticle poisoning in hybrid semiconducting-superconducting systems believed to be able to host Majoranas. We employed gate-based dispersive sensing by investigating a reflected radiofrequency (RF) signal from a resonator, which is capacitively coupled to one of the gate electrodes of the hybrid double dot realised in an InAs nanowire. This way, the quantum capacitance of the system can be probed, which in turn reveals charge tunnelling processes, and can be used as an indicator of single-electron tunnelling events. By operating the device in a so-called floating regime, where a double dot system is entirely decoupled from the leads, external non-equilibrium quasiparticle poisoning events can be exponentially suppressed. By appropriately tuning the chemical potentials on the quantum dot and the superconducting island, we attempt to scrutinise the dynamics of the quasiparticles innate to the superconductor. We investigated the dependence of quasiparticle tunnelling rates on the temperature of the system, as well as the applied RF power, as both are predicted to increase the average number of quasiparticles on the island. In both cases, we could find no observational proof of quasiparticle tunnelling events through the use of our measurement technique. We report an observation of a two-level resonator response, which we explain using a two-level fluctuator. Analysing telegraph measurements, we demonstrate the viability of the analysis tool, which allows us to determine the average occupation times of each state. In principle, for processes occurring at rates slower than the measurement frequency, this technique can be used to convert a relatively faint difference between the “poisoned and unpoisoned state”, to the signal of the gate being on coulomb resonance versus on Coulomb blockade, which is a much clearer signal to distinguish. Both, the technique, as well as the expected rates of the physical processes within the island, are evaluated in the context of the experiment.