Three-dimensional microwave cavities have recently been combined with superconducting qubits in the circuit quantum electrodynamics architecture. These cavities should have less sensitivity to dielectric and conductor losses at surfaces and interfaces, which currently limit the performance of planar resonators. We expect that significantly (>103) higher quality factors and longer lifetimes should be achievable for 3D structures. Motivated by this principle, we have reached internal quality factors greater than 0.5 × 109 and intrinsic lifetimes of 0.01 s for multiple aluminum superconducting cavity resonators at single photon energies and millikelvin temperatures. These improvements could enable long lived quantum memories with submicrosecond access times when strongly coupled to superconducting qubits.

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