Coherent interaction with two-level fluctuators using near field scanning microwave microscopy
Journal article, 2015
Near field Scanning Microwave Microscopy (NSMM) is a scanning probe technique that non-invasively can obtain material properties on the nano-scale at microwave frequencies. While focus has been on developing room-temperature systems it was recently shown that this technique can potentially reach the quantum regime, opening up for applications in materials science and device characterization in solid state quantum information processing. In this paper we theoretically investigate this new regime of NSMM. Specifically we show that interaction between a resonant NSMM probe and certain types of two-level systems become possible when the NSMM probe operates in the (sub-) single photon regime, and we expect a high signal-to-noise ratio if operated under the right conditions. This would allow to detect single atomic material defects with energy splittings in the GHz range with nano-scale resolution, provided that individual defects in the material under study are well enough separated. We estimate that this condition is fulfilled for materials with loss tangents below tan delta similar to 10(-3) which holds for materials used in today's quantum circuits and devices where typically tan delta < 10(-5). We also propose several extensions to a resonant NSMM that could improve sensitivity and functionality also for microscopes operating in a high power regime.