Date of Award

August 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Britton L. Plourde

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Superconducting circuits operated at low temperatures have led to rapid advances in quantum information processing as well as quantum optics in the microwave regime. Engineered quantum systems with a dense spectrum of modes coupled to artificial atoms, or qubits, formed from superconducting circuits offer an opportunity to explore large-scale entanglement or perform quantum simulations of many-body phenomena. Recent research efforts into artificial metamaterials have yielded microwave and optical systems with numerous counterintuitive properties, including left-handed transmission, where the group velocity and phase velocity for a wave point in opposite directions. Metamaterial resonators implemented with superconducting thin-film circuits provide a route to generating dense mode spectra in the microwave regime for coupling to qubits. In this thesis, we discuss the implementation of such superconducting metamaterial resonators. First, we derive the dispersion relation for one-dimensional metamaterial transmission lines and we describe the formation of resonators from such lines and their quality factors. Next, we describe the design and fabrication of transmission-line metamaterial resonators using superconducting thin films. We characterize the metamaterials through low-temperature microwave measurements as well as Laser Scanning Microscope (LSM) images of the microwave field distributions in the circuit. We compare these various measurements with numerical simulations of the microwave properties of the circuits, including simulated current density and charge density distributions for the excitation of different resonance modes. Following the successful realization of dense mode spectra in these circuits, we have initiated the first experiments with a superconducting transmon qubit coupled to a metamaterial resonator and we describe our progress in this direction.


Open Access