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Prospective Students

Learn About IQUIST's Research Groups

Please find information about IQUIST research opportunities for current and prospective graduate students, undergraduates, and postdocs. This page will continue to be updated; however, for a full list of IQUIST researchers, please check our directory.

Peter Abbamonte

Peter Abbamonte's group uses new electron and x-ray scattering techniques to study the collective dynamics of quantum materials, including superconductors, topological phases, quasi-2D charge density wave materials, nematic phases, and strange metals.

Peter Abbamonte Research Group

Please email Professor Abbamonte at abbamont@illinois.edu if you are interested.

This technique, pioneered by our group, is the only way to measure the dynamic charge response of materials at meV energy scales.

Carried out mostly at synchrotron and free-electron laser facilities, this technique allows one to measure valence band dynamics with sub-meV resolution.

A few years ago we discovered an anomalous spectrum of density fluctuations that resembles the susceptibility of the so-called SYK model, seemingly confirming the marginal Fermi liquid hypothesis. We are expanding these studies to a broad category of interacting metals to examine the universality of this phenomenon.

We are also studying the quantum dynamics of axion insulators, nematic superconductors with intertwined order parameters, polaronic metals, high temperature superconductors, topological phonon materials, and many other interesting phenomena.

Taking graduate students: 0-1
Taking undergraduate students: 0-1

Mikael Backlund

Mikael Backlund's research interests are in applications of quantum sensing and metrology to problems in the molecular sciences.

Mikael Backlund Research Group

Please email Professor Backlund at mikaelb@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information.

One thrust of the lab involves leveraging quantum defects embedded in diamond as sensors of nanoscale magnetic fields emanating from molecular targets relevant to biophysics, soft condensed matter, and chemistry. 

Optical single-molecule techniques cull information encoded in photon position, momentum, polarization, purity, timing, spectrum, detection rate, etc. By formalizing these tasks as exercises in quantum parameter estimation and classification we aim to establish establish and saturate fundamental metrological bounds inherent to these techniques.

Taking graduate students: 2–3
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Gaurav Bahl

Gaurav Bahl's group brings together engineers and physicists, working with integrated photonics, mechanics, and topological metamaterials, to explore quantum technologies, non-reciprocal devices, and sensing applications.

Gaurav Bahl Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Bahl at bahl@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include:

  • Light-matter interaction and nonlinear optics 
  • Topological metamaterials (optics, electronics, mechanics) 
  • Integrated photonics

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Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 2–3

Alexey Bezryadin

Alexey Bezryadin's research is focused on the area of hybrid topological quantum devices and superconducting qubits.

Alexey Bezryadin Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Bezryadin at bezryadi@illinois.edu if you are interested.

We attempt to develop and test nanoscale hybrid systems with topological insulators and superconductors in which Majorana fermion physics can be revealed, including their non-Abelian properties and braiding. 

We develop novel types of superconducting qubits using nontraditional nonlinear elements such as molecule-templated nanowires. We superconducting qubits for spectroscopy of topological systems and other systems such as ensembles of superconducting vortices.

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Simeon Bogdanov

Simeon Bogdanov's research is in the area of quantum nanophotonics

Simeon Bogdanov Research Group

Please email Professor Bogdanov at bogdanov@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

Cryo-free emission of indistinguishable photons by solid-state defects, various methods of single-photon coherence restoration.

Nanoassembly of integrated quantum optical devices, large-scale quantum optical characterization.

Low-loss plasmonics through radiative bandwidth engineering, fundamental limits of light-matter interaction, nanoscale optical metrology.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

David Ceperley

David Ceperley's research focuses on quantum Monte Carlo simulations of continuum many body systems.

Please e-mail Professor Ceperley at ceperley@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include:

  • High pressure systems, mainly hydrogen and helium 
  • Low temperature physics, such as superfluids and Wigner crystals 
  • Machine learning

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Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Eric Chitambar

Eric Chitambar's research group studies quantum information theory, with a focus on quantum resource theories and quantum communication.

Eric Chitambar Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Chitambar at echitamb@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

We are interested in understanding what types of nonlocal correlations can be generated between spacelike-separated entangled systems and how they can be applied in quantum information science. 

This topic studies physical processes that can be realized by spatially-separated quantum laboratories which have pre-shared entanglement but can only communicate classical information with each other. 

This topic considers different ways to quantify and transform different types of correlations in classical and quantum systems.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Bryan Clark

Bryan Clark's group works at the intersection of quantum information, condensed matter, and computing. We develop quantum computing algorithms; determine the nature of entanglement phase transitions; and probe emergent quantum phenomena through simulations. 

Clark Research Group

Please email Professor Clark at bkclark@illinois.edu if you are interested.

We develop quantum computing algorithms with a focus on improving simulations of physics and chemistry with quantum computers.

Within the last decade, the condensed matter community has discovered a novel type of phase transition where entanglement discontinuously changes. Examples include the many-body localized phase and random quantum circuits. Using numerical tools we probe and develop conceptual understanding of these phase transitions.

Classically the computational power of quantum mechanics makes simulation of both quantum computers and quantum many-body phenomena difficult. We develop new algorithms (most often using machine-learning, tensor-network and quantum Monte Carlo approaches) to most efficaciously use classical resources to simulate these systems.

Using tools such as tensor networks and quantum Monte Carlo we simulate condensed matter systems

 

 

Taking graduate students: 1-2
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Offir Cohen

Offir Cohen's research is in the area of quantum optics and quantum phenomena in light-matter interaction

Please e-mail Professor Cohen at offir@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

Main areas of research include:

  • Distributed quantum entanglement
  • Fault-tolerant computing

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Jacob Covey

Jacob Covey's research is in quantum science with arrays of neutral alkaline earth atoms.

Jacob Covey Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Covey at jcovey@illinois.edu if you are interested.

We seek to combine Rydberg-mediated local entanglement with photon-mediated remote entanglement for nuclear and optical qubits of alkaline earth atoms.

Click here to download an overview with more information

Main areas of research include:

  • Distributed quantum entanglement
  • Fault-tolerant computing
  • Atom array optical atomic clocks
  • Telecom-band quantum communication

Taking graduate students: 2–3
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Brian DeMarco

Brian DeMarco's research is in quantum computing and simulation using atomic and molecular qubits.

Brian DeMarco Research Group

Please e-mail Professor DeMarco at bdemarco@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include quantum simulation, quantum computing and networking.

Current projects:

  • Quantum Simulation Hubbard Models using Optical Lattices 
  • Quantum Simulation of Particle Physics using Ultracold Molecules 
  • Cluster State Quantum Computing using Ultracold Molecules Confined in Optical Tweezers 
  • Distributed Quantum Computing and Networking using Trapped Atomic Ions

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Jim Eckstein

Jim Eckstein's group makes quantum devices using molecular beam epitaxy of superconducting and topological materials along with advanced nano-fabrication processes. 

Please e-mail Professor Eckstein at eckstein@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Eckstein Research Group

Main areas of research include:

  • Extended superconducting qubit coherence from more perfect materials.
  • Topological qubits.
  • Quantum mixers

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Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 0-1

Kejie Fang

Kejie Fang’s research focuses on study of light-matter interactions and light manipulation at micro- and nano-scales for applications in photonic quantum information processing and quantum metrology.

Kejie Fang Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Fang at kfang3@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with strong nonlinearity are an emerging platform for quantum information processing. We are exploring materials with substantial bulk nonlinearity and developing PICs to enable key resources and protocols for photonic quantum information processing. 

Control of phonons–quanta of vibrations–in engineered structures using radiation-pressure force represents a new quantum technique for sensing and information transduction. We are developing a new breed of chipscale optomechanical architecture based on mechanical bound states in the continuum to enable new sensing modalities and explore macroscopic quantum phenomena. 

Quantum metrology is one of the major applications of quantum information science. Along with theoretical explorations, we create nonclassical photonic and phononic states enabled by our chipscale architectures for quantum sensing beyond the standard quantum limit.

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Tom Faulkner

Tom Faulkner’s research is on applications of quantum information to quantum gravity, black holes and quantum field theory.

Tom Faulkner Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Faulkner at tomf@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include holographic duality, quantum gravity, and entanglement in QFT.

We study quantum information in AdS/CFT, also known as the holographic correspondence. We use quantum information to constrain the dynamics of gravity and quantum field theory via energy conditions. We use random tensor networks as toy models of AdS/CFT.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Eduardo Fradkin

Eduardo Fradkin's research is working in topological phases of matter (particularly, fractional quantum Hall fluids) and high Tc superconductors. 

Eduardo Fradkin Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Fradkin at efradkin@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include Topological platforms for qubits 

Taking graduate students: Not at the moment
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Bryce Gadway

Bryce Gadway's research is primarily in the area of quantum simulation with systems of trapped atoms and molecules. The group also has related interests in quantum sensing and quantum information science, as well as projects on non-Newtonian mechanics.

Bryce Gadway Research Group

Please email Professor Gadway at bgadway@illinois.edu if you are interested.

This project is focused primarily on Hamiltonian engineering with ultracold atoms for the exploration of new artificial topological and disordered materials. Ancillary interest in quantum sensing with entangled atom interferometers.

Assembling optical tweezer-trapped arrays of neutral potassium atoms for the exploration of strongly-correlated spin physics (and topics in many-body quantum transport) with Rydberg atoms. 

Assembling optical tweezer-trapped arrays of ultracold polar sodium-rubidium molecules for applications in quantum information science, specifically cluster-state-based quantum computing.

Quantum-inspired project on Hamiltonian engineering in arrays of coupled mechanical oscillators.

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment.

Elizabeth Goldschmidt

Elizabeth Goldschmidt’s research is in experimental quantum optics and atomic physics including quantum light-matter interfaces, quantum memory, and single photon sources, with a particular focus on atom-like emitters in solids as the physical platform for these experiments.

Elizabeth Goldschmidt Research Group

We are frequently looking for graduate, undergraduate, and postdoctoral researchers to join the group. Please email Elizabeth at goldschm@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

The plan is to fabricated microsphere resonators out of rare-earth doped optical fiber, couple to the whispering gallery resonator mode with a tapered optical fiber, put the whole thing in a cryostat to operate at ~4 K, and use a single atom coupled to the resonator mode as a source of single and entangled photons.

Generate multiple pairs of correlated photons in different spatial modes via spontaneous parametric down conversion (SPDC), image photons on a photo counting EMCCD camera, and implement a "quantum eraser" and a spatially dependent phase shift to get photons to act as a scattershot boson sampler. 

Long-lived and efficient quantum memory have been demonstrated in cryogenic rare-earth ensembles, but not at the same time.

Pursue two paths toward addressing the key challenge (optical pumping):

  • New techniques in commercially available materials with telecom band transitions
  • New materials that can be optically pumped and have extremely long coherence times

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Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment.

Taylor Hughes

Taylor Hughes' research is in the area of condensed matter theory; primarily topological phases of matter in quantum materials and metamaterials.

Taylor Hughes' Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Hughes at hughest@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include:

  • Topological metamaterials; intersection of condensed matter, quantum information, and high energy physics
  • Novel quantum devices and platforms for quantum computation
  • Geometry and topology in condensed matter physics

Investigating quantum ‘weak measurements’, ultra-precise entanglement-enhanced optical timing, and quantum-enabled ’telescopes'

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Yonatan (Yoni) Kahn

Yoni Kahn's research is focused on developing new theoretical proposals for experiments to detect dark matter and other weakly-coupled new particles in the laboratory and the cosmos.

Yoni Kahn's Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Kahn at yfkahn@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Interactions of dark matter with collective modes, novel narrow-gap materials for dark matter-electron scattering (in collaboration with P. Abbamonte, L. Wagner, F. Mahmood, and others), optimal detector material design.

In collaboration with SQMS at Fermilab perconducting RF cavities.

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Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Dakshita Khurana

Dakshita Khurana's research is in the foundations of post-quantum and quantum cryptography.

Dakshita Khurana Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Khurana at dakshita@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include quantum secure computation, quantum cryptography, secure protocol design

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Kohei Kishida

Kohei Kishida's research is in foundations of quantum physics and computing and their applications to formal methods such as protocol verification.

Please e-mail Professor Kishida at kkishida@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include:

  • Foundations of quantum physics and computing. In particular, I pursue the structural expression of non-locality and contextuality. 
  • Quantum programming languages. Results of category theory and foundations are applied to obtaining programming languages with desirable features.

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Taking graduate students: Not at the moment.
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment.

Kohei Kishida

Angela Kou

Angela Kou's research is focused on building novel superconducting circuits for quantum simulation and investigating topological phenomena.

Angela Kou Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Kou at akou@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Superconducting circuits can realize multiple different types of strong coupling between individual qubits. We are working on simulating frustrated systems and spin models using superconducting qubits. 

We couple superconducting circuits to semiconducting materials to investigate mesoscopic and topological effects. 

We are building scanning single-electron transistors to explore strongly interacting systems. We are also developing probes for exploring the electric and magnetic fluctuations in strongly-interacting and topological materials.

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Paul Kwiat

Paul Kwiat’s research is in the area of atomic molecular and optical physics and quantum optics, including generation, characterization and engineering of photonic quantum states, quantum memories, and single-photon-level spectroscopy. 

Kwiat Quantum Information Group

Please e-mail Professor Kwiat at kwiat@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

Developing state-of-the-art resources for single-, entangled- and hyper-entangled photon sources, quantum state characterization, quantum memories, and single-photon detectors.

Drone-to-drone and space-to-ground entanglement distribution, quantum-enhanced information capacity, novel high-dimensional quantum protocols.

Investigating quantum ‘weak measurements’, ultra-precise entanglement-enhanced optical timing, and quantum-enabled ’telescopes'

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Felix Leditzky

Felix Leditzky's research focuses on mathematical and computational aspects of quantum information theory, in particular topics in quantum communication and quantum information processing. This subfield is sometimes referred to as "quantum Shannon theory" in analogy to classical Shannon theory (viz. information theory), pioneered by Claude Shannon in his landmark paper of 1948. See below for a more detailed list of research topics, as well as mathematical and numerical methods used to study them. 

Felix Leditzky Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Leditzky at leditzky@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Quantum channels and their capacities, superadditivity phenomena, data processing inequalities, strong converse theorems, second order asymptotics, network information theory.

Group theory, representation theory, matrix analysis, trace and operator inequalities.

Multipartite entanglement, stabilizer formalism, graph states, tensor networks, neural network states.

Semidefinite and geometric programming, global optimization techniques, machine learning methods.

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Anthony J. Leggett

Anthony Leggett's "research group", such as it is (me plus my last remaining graduate student) studies primarily the kinetics of the Meissner effect in superconductors and the symmetry of the order parameter in Sr_2RuO_4. 

Please e-mail Professor Leggett at aleggett@illinois.edu  if you are interested.

Main areas of research include:

  • Foundations of quantum mechanics,especially tests of the superposition principle at the meso/macroscopic level.
  • Possible topological superconductivity in Sr_2RuO_4 and elsewhere.
  • Low-temperature properties of glasses (why are they not just qualitatively but so quantitatively universal?)

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Taking graduate students: Not at the moment
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Rob Leigh

Rob Leigh and his research group study quantum information structures in continuum quantum field theories, especially topological field theories, as well as their relevance to gravitation. The group has established many detailed results and developed computational techniques for entanglement measures in Chern-Simons theories, including interesting connections with conformal field theories and knot theory. A key link between quantum information concepts and energy conditions in gravity was recently established by the group.

Rob Leigh Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Leigh at rgleigh@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main area of research includes entanglement and complexity in quantum field theories.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Virginia Lorenz

Virginia Lorenz’s research is in the area of atomic molecular and optical physics and quantum optics, including generation, characterization and engineering of photonic quantum states, quantum memories, and single-photon-level spectroscopy. 

Virginia Lorenz Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Lorenz at vlorenz@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

Research includes new quantum states, novel methods and materials, and source characterization.

For long-distance quantum communication.

Quantum telescopy, single-photon level spectroscopy methods, entangled photon spectroscopy.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Vidya Madhavan

Vidya Madhavan's research focuses on Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Quantum Materials.

Vidya Madhavan Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Madhavan at vm1@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Nanoscale studies of topological superconductors and Majorana modes.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Fahad Mahmood

Fahad Mahmood's research involves using light-matter interaction at short (fs to ps) timescales to understand and alter the collective behavior of electrons in a variety of quantum materials.

Fahad Mahmood Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Mahmood at fahad@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Techniques include:

  • Time and Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (tr-ARPES) 
  • Time-domain THz spectroscopy and polarimetry 
  • Non-linear THz light-matter interaction 

Materials of Interest:

  • Topological semi-metals and insulators 
  • Unconventional superconductors 
  • Frustrated magnets

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Nancy Makri

Nancy Makri's group focuses on the development of real-time path integral methods for simulating the quantum dynamics of systems in condensed-phase environments. 

Nancy Makri's Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Makri at nmakri@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Main areas of research include:

  • Quantum coherence in dissipative environments 
  • Excitation energy transfer 
  • Spin dynamics and entanglement

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Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

Nadya Mason

Nadya Mason's research focuses on experimental studies of quantum transport in low-dimensional and hybrid materials, including nanoscale superconductors, topological-magnetic, topological-superconducting, semiconducting nanowires, and 2D systems.

Nadya Mason Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Mason at nadya@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Reducing charge noise with new gating configurations 

Looking for novel excitations in topological insulators coupled to superconductors

Coupling topological systems to magnets and also unearthing topological properties of magnetic systems

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Wolfgang Pfaff 

The Pfafflab focuses on linking superconducting and hybrid quantum processors through propagating photons to study quantum networks and open quantum systems.

Please e-mail Professor Pfaff at wpfaff@illinois.edu if you are interested.

We are interested in finding ways to connect clusters of qubits (or other quantum memories) based on superconducting circuits in a modular way.

We study how quantum effects can be preserved or harnessed when quantum systems are strongly coupled to an (engineered) bath.

Most quantum circuits to date are build from superconductors and Josephson junctions. We are exploring incorporating other elements (for instance based on semiconductors) to incorporate new capabilities into our devices.

Taking graduate students: 1–2
Taking undergraduate students: 1–2

Edgar Solomonik

Edgar Solomonik's research is in numerical analysis, high performance computing, and quantum simulation.

Edgar Solomonik Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Solomonik at solomon2@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Our group is developing parallel algorithms and software for using tensor networks to approximate simulate quantum circuit execution and evolution of quantum states. We are using these simulations to study variants of and improvements to near-term quantum algorithms for simulation of physical quantum systems. 

Our group is working on using tensor rank decompositions to quantify entanglement (theoretically and via numerical computation) in quantum states of interest, such as quantum graph states. 

Our group is interested in development of theoretical models and programming abstractions for architectures involving interconnected and potentially different multi-qubit systems.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: 0–1

Smitha Vishveshwara

Smitha Vishveshwara's research delves into correlated quantum states of matter in a range of settings from the atomic and nanoscale to the astronomical.

Smitha Vishveshwara Research Group

Please e-mail Professor Vishveshwara at smivish@illinois.edu if you are interested.

Click here to download an overview with more information

Current projects (year 2021) include studying topological qubits, quench dynamics in correlated quantum systems, bosons in optical lattices, quantum condensates aboard the International Space Station, and anyon and black hole-like dynamics in quantum Hall systems.

Taking graduate students: 0–1
Taking undergraduate students: Not at the moment

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