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Quantum control of surface acoustic wave phonons

The Awschalom, Cleland and Schuster groups at the University of Chicago MRSEC have used superconducting circuits and piezo-electricity to manipulate single phonons in a surface acoustic wave resonator (SAW).

Pictured to the left is a SAW resonator on lithium niobate (top), which is placed on top of a chip containing a superconducting qubit (middle).  The combined pair (bottom) couples the two systems together. 

The qubit can be prepared with a single microwave photon which is shown being coherently exchanged with a single phonon (right).