Discovery of a stable molecular state consisting of photons and an artificial atom

Shiro Saito, Kosuke Kakuyanagi, Sahel Ashhab, Fumiki Yoshihara, Tomoko Fuse, Kouichi Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


In a joint study with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, we have conducted experiments to alter the strength of interactions between a superconducting artificial atom and microwave photons. We have confirmed the existence of a qualitatively new lowest energy ground state where an artificial atom is dressed with virtual photons to form a novel type of molecule. Our research makes it possible to control the interactions between matter and light over a range of energies orders of magnitude higher than has hitherto been possible. This is expected to have applications in quantum technologies including quantum communication, quantum computing, and next-generation ultraprecise atomic clocks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNTT Technical Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017



  • Circuit QED
  • Deep strong coupling regime
  • Superconducting artificial atom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Saito, S., Kakuyanagi, K., Ashhab, S., Yoshihara, F., Fuse, T., & Semba, K. (2017). Discovery of a stable molecular state consisting of photons and an artificial atom. NTT Technical Review, 15(5).