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​Northwestern Professor Receives DoE Funding for Quantum Information Science Research

Michael R. Wasielewski, Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University and Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy, will receive $1.5 million over three years from the Department of Energy (DOE) for research toward the development of new Quantum Information Science (QIS). His award is a part of a total of $37 million in DOE funding granted to some 20 projects selected through competitive peer review for targeted research in materials and chemistry.

Press release from Northwestern University
August 15th 2019 | 4452 readers

Michael R. Wasielewski, Photo Northwestern University
Michael R. Wasielewski, Photo Northwestern University
The scientific community is on the verge of a revolution in which Quantum Information Science will change the way we live, work, and understand our world. Indeed, QIS may have the opportunity to transform industries, create jobs, and yield great benefits for the world’s population,” said Wasielewski, who serves on the Executive Committee for Northwestern’s Initiative for Quantum Information Research and Engineering (INQUIRE). Through INQUIRE, Northwestern is a member of the Chicago Quantum Exchange.

QIS merges disciplines including physics, chemistry, material science and engineering, electrical engineering and computer science to develop new technologies for the communications, security, metrology, sensing, and computing industries among others. It leverages our ability to examine interactions at the smallest levels and on the fastest timescales­­­. The field has seen rapid growth in the past two decades and advancements are expected to bring more powerful and efficient information processes in the future.

Wasielewski will leverage his expertise and that of his co-PI’s: Emily Weiss, Mark and Nancy Ratner Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern; Theodore Goodson, professor of chemistry, macromolecular science and engineering and applied physics at the University of Michigan; and Shaul Mukamel, professor of chemistry at the University of California-Irvine, to bring new understanding to the process of transduction within QIS. The process is essential for networking quantum information processors. The project specifically addresses fundamental questions about how single and entangled photons interact with molecules and nanostructures to produce entangled electron spin qubits, resulting in transduction. Understanding these interactions is a critical step toward the development of transformative QIS technologies.

In addition to this award from the DOE, Wasielewski is involved in a number of awards in quantum science.
  • Co-PI working with PI Danna Freedman, associate professor of chemistry at Northwestern, and other researchers on a DOE grant announced in October 2018 to create improved qubits, the smallest unit of a quantum computer.
  • PI of a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) project that began in July, 2019 to explore multi-electron spin systems for QIS.
  • Co-PI on a separate three-year NSF Center for Chemical Innovation grant beginning in September 2019 led by PI David Beratan, R.J. Reynolds Professor of Chemistry at Duke University, with the aim to generate coherence in molecular systems.

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