Subgap states in dirty superconductors and their effect on dephasing in Josephson qubits

Alessandro Silva, Lev B. Ioffe

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17 Scopus citations


We present a theory of the subgap tails of the density of states in a diffusive superconductor containing magnetic impurities. We show that the subgap tails have two contributions: one arising from mesoscopic gap fluctuations, previously discussed by Lamacraft and Simons, and the other associated to the long-wave fluctuations of the concentration of magnetic impurities. We study the latter both in small superconducting grains and in bulk systems [d=1,2,3], and establish the dimensionless parameter that controls which of the two contributions dominates the subgap tails. We observe that these contributions are related to each other by dimensional reduction. We apply the theory to estimate the effects of a weak concentration of magnetic impurities [≈1 ppm] on the phase coherence of Josephson qubits. We find that at these typical concentrations, magnetic impurities are relevant for the dephasing in large qubits, designed around a 10 μm scale, where they limit the quality factor to be Q<10 4-10 5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104502
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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