A cryogenic electro-optic interconnect for superconducting devices

Amir Youssefi, Itay Shomroni, Yash J. Joshi, Nathan R. Bernier, Anton Lukashchuk, Philipp Uhrich, Liu Qiu, Tobias J. Kippenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


A major challenge to the scalability of cryogenic computing platforms is the heat load associated with the growing number of electrical cable connections between the superconducting circuitry and the room-temperature environment. Compared with electrical cables, optical fibres have significantly lower thermal conductivity and are widely used in modern telecommunications. However, optical modulation at cryogenic temperatures remains relatively unexplored. Here we report the cryogenic electro-optical readout of a superconducting electromechanical circuit using a commercial titanium-doped lithium niobate modulator. We demonstrate coherent spectroscopy by measuring optomechanically induced transparency and incoherent thermometry by encoding the mechanical sidebands in an optical signal. We also show that our modulators can maintain their room-temperature Pockels coefficient at 800 mK. Further optimization of the modulator design—for example, by using longer waveguides and materials with a higher Pockels coefficient—could reduce the added noise of our setup to similar levels as current semiconductor microwave amplifiers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalNature Electronics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


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