Plenary Speaker

David D. Awschalom

David D. Awschalom, The University of Chicago

David D. Awschalom is the Liew Family Professor and Deputy Director of the Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering at The University of Chicago.  He is also a senior scientist and Quantum Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory, and director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. Awschalom is the inaugural Director of Q-NEXT, one of the U.S. Department of Energy Quantum Information Science Research Centers. He was previously the Peter J. Clarke Director of the California NanoSystems Institute and Professor of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He served as a research staff member and manager of the Nonequilibrium Physics Department at the IBM Watson Research Center. He works in the emerging fields of spintronics and quantum information engineering, where his students develop new methods to explore and control the quantum states of individual electrons, nuclei and photons in the solid state and in molecules. His research includes implementations of quantum information processing with potential applications in computing, imaging and communication.  Awschalom received the American Physical Society Oliver E. Buckley Prize and Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, the European Physical Society Europhysics Prize, the Materials Research Society David Turnbull Award and Outstanding Investigator Prize, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the International Magnetism Prize and the Néel Medal from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the European Academy of Sciences.

Abandoning perfection for quantum technologies

Our technological preference for perfection can only lead us so far: as traditional transistor-based electronics rapidly approach the atomic scale, small amounts of disorder begin to have outsized negative effects. Surprisingly, one of the most promising pathways out of this conundrum may emerge from current efforts to embrace defects to construct quantum devices and machines that enable new information processing and sensing technologies based on the quantum nature of electrons and atomic nuclei.  Recently, individual defects in diamond, silicon carbide, and other wide-gap semiconductors have attracted interest as they possess an electronic spin state that can be employed as a solid-state quantum bit at room temperature.  These systems have a built-in optical interface in the visible and telecom bands, retain their coherence over millisecond timescales, and can be polarized, manipulated, and read out using a simple combination of light and microwaves.  With these well-characterized foundations in hand, we discuss merging electronic, photonic, magnetic, and phononic degrees of freedom to develop coherent atomic-scale devices for transducing information to create multifunctional quantum technologies. We present demonstrations of gigahertz coherent control, single nuclear spin quantum memories, entangled quantum registers, and advances in extending the quantum coherence in both commercial and custom CVD-grown electronic materials for emerging applications in science and technology.