Decoherence of a quantum two-level system by spectral diffusion Academic Article uri icon


  • We study the dephasing of an individual high-frequency tunneling two-level system (TLS) due to its interaction with an ensemble of low-frequency thermal TLSs which are described by the standard tunneling model (STM). We show that the dephasing by the bath of TLSs explains both the dependence of the Ramsey dephasing rate on an externally applied strain as well as its order of magnitude, as observed in a recent experiment [J. Lisenfeld et al., Sci. Rep. 6, 23786 (2016)]. However, the theory based on the STM predicts the Hahn-echo protocol to be much more efficient, yielding too low echo dephasing rates, as compared to the experiment. Also the strain dependence of the echo dephasing rate predicted by the STM does not agree with the measured quadratic dependence, which would fit to a high-frequency white noise environment. We suggest that few fast TLSs which are coupled much more strongly to the strain fields than the usual TLSs of the STM give rise to such a white noise. This explains the magnitude and strong fluctuations of the echo dephasing rate observed in the experiment.

publication date

  • April 18, 2016