Ten years ago, we started to develop thermal radiation sensors, also know as bolometers, to sense single microwave photons. Nobody has thus far demonstrated this but now we start to be very close. So close that we got published in Nature!
The title of our paper pretty much tells the news: “Bolometer operating at the threshold for circuit quantum electrodynamics“. We were able to demonstrate a bolometer that works in the 100-ns timescale and its noise measurements imply an energy resolution corresponding to a single 30-GHz photon. This seems fast and sensitive enough to use the bolometer as the first-stage readout circuit for superconducting qubits.
In the future, I want to integrate the bolometer with a qubit chip. I burned my summer vacations writing an ERC proposal to make this possible. I hope it gets through. I am still tired from the push.
There is now quite some news out on this topic and my VTT blog post as well. Thus I am very brief here. Just want to add that it has been amazing to work with so many great scientists in the local and global community. Thank you!
Anyways, here is a nice artistic image that our “master quantum artist” Heikka Valja made. I hope you like the vibe of it!