I am a research staff member at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research center in Yorktown Heights, NY, where I study experimental quantum computing and quantum photonics.
After growing up in Portland, OR, I went Swarthmore College for my B.A. in Physics (2003). I then went to Harvard University for my Ph.D. in Physics (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 optoelectronically integrated quantum circuits. In particular, I discovered a quantum-transduction process relying on near-field energy transfer that allows for the direct electrical detection of nanoscale optical excitations known as plasmons. My interest in solid-state quantum optics then led me to the study of artificial atoms based on crystal defects. After developing a method for addressing individual electronic spin states in silicon carbide, my colleagues and I were able to optically pump room-temperature nuclear polarization in SiC, a first for a material that plays a leading role in the semiconductor industry.
My research at IBM on carbon-nanotube plasmonics has shown that carbon nanotubes can act as deep subwavelength optical cavities and electrostatically tunable hyperbolic metamaterials. While exploring these phenomena, we were able to synthesize extremely dense films of aligned nanotubes – so dense that the nanotubes form hexagonally packed two-dimensional crystals. These films exhibit fascinating new effects, such as intrinsically ultrastrong plasmon-exciton interactions, in which a single material plays a dual role as an optical nanocavity and an optical emitter.
Another one of my main interests is nonlinear quantum optics, which is an exciting, rapidly developing field. Nonlinear optics normally requires high optical powers, but we are working to engineer coherent photon-photon interactions at the single photon level. Our strategy is to confine light to high quality-factor optical resonators comprising electro-optic materials like silicon germanium. In the long run, these types of devices could be a foundation for quantum networks of quantum computers.