I am a research staff member at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research center in Yorktown Heights, NY, where I study nanophotonics and quantum optics.
I grew up in Portland, OR, received a B.A. in Physics from Swarthmore College (2003) and a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University (2009), where I was advised by Hongkun Park. My postdoctoral fellowship was advised by David Awschalom at the University of Chicago and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I was awarded the Elings Prize in Experimental Science.
My Ph.D. research focused on the physics of chemically grown nanowires, including the dynamics of geometrically confined phase changes and the application of nanowires to integrated quantum nanophotonic circuits. In particular, I discovered a quantum-transduction process relying on near-field energy transfer that allows the direct electrical detection of sources of single subwavelength optical excitations known as plasmons. As a postdoc, I developed methods for addressing individual electronic spin states in silicon carbide and for optically pumping room-temperature nuclear polarization in SiC, a first for a material that plays a leading role in the semiconductor industry.
At IBM, my research on carbon-nanotube plasmonics has shown that carbon nanotubes can act as deep subwavelength optical cavities and tunable hyperbolic metamaterials. This work has led us to the synthesis of extremely dense nanotube films – so dense that that the nanotubes form hexagonally packed two-dimensional crystals. These films of dense, aligned nanotubes exhibit exciting new features, including intrinsically ultrastrong plasmon-exciton interactions.
Another one of my main interests is nonlinear quantum optics, an which is an exciting, rapidly developing field. Nonlinear optics normally requires high powers, but we are working to engineer coherent photon-photon interactions at single-photon power levels. Our strategy is to confine light to high quality-factor optical resonators comprising highly electro-optic materials. Prospective applications including single photon frequency converters that can distribute quantum information over long-distance networks of quantum sensors and quantum computers.