Towards phonon routing: Controlling propagating acoustic waves in the quantum regime

M. K. Ekström*, T. Aref, A. Ask, G. Andersson, B. Suri, H. Sanada, G. Johansson, P. Delsing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explore routing of propagating phonons in analogy with previous experiments on photons. Surface acoustic waves (SAWs) in the microwave regime are scattered by a superconducting transmon qubit. The transmon can be tuned on or off resonance with the incident SAW field using an external magnetic field or the Autler-Townes effect, and thus the reflection and transmission of the SAW field can be controlled in time. We observe 80% extinction in the transmission of the low power continuous signal and a 40 ns rise time of the router. The slow propagation speed of SAWs on solid surfaces allows for in-flight manipulations of the propagating phonons. The ability to route short, 100 ns, pulses enables new functionality, for instance to catch an acoustic phonon between two qubits and then release it in a controlled direction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123013
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • in-flight manipulation
  • phonon
  • quantum acoustics
  • qubit
  • router
  • superconducting circuits
  • surface acoustic wave


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