Exploring how biological processes use quantum effects and developing new nanowire arrays to detect light at the single photon level are two of 10 projects being funded by more than $900,000 from the Quantum Quest Seed Fund.
The funding program, which will launch its third cycle in this spring, promotes the development of new ideas and applications for quantum devices.
Funding recipients Michel Gingras and Zoya Leonenko, both of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, are leading a project to see if biological processes make direct use of quantum effects or simply depend on the influence of quantum physics on chemical bonding and molecular structure. Leonenko is also jointly-appointed to the Department of Biology.
“We are particularly interested to explore whether some fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics, such as isotope effects, coherence or entanglement may be at play in brain tissue and neuronal cells,” said Gingras.
The researchers hope the project will provide insight into a range of biological mysteries, such as olfaction, magneto-navigation by the European Robin, and the actions of lithium in treating mood disorders.
Quantum Quest Awardees
Below is a list of Quantum Quest Recipients, since June 2017, who have been awarded funding for the following projects:
Carbon nanotube monolayer Josephson junction superconducting qubit
Na Young Kim, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Two-dimensional quantum materials and heterostructures
Adam Wei Tsen, Chemistry
Next Generation Quantum Sensors
Michael Reimer, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Plasmon control of quantum states in semiconductor nanocrystals
Pavle Radovanovic, Chemistry
Quantum information processing with molecular lattices
Pierre-Nicholas Roy, Chemistry
Qubits and quantum effects in the brain
Fabrication of ultra low noise RF squid amplifiers
Jan Kycia, Physics and Astronomy
Cryo-CMOS to control and operate 2D fault-tolerant qubit network
Lan Wei, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Harnessing the promise of quantum materials for future electronic devices
Young Ki Yoon, Electrical and Computing Engineering
Ultrafast dynamical studies of valley-based qubits
Germán Sciaini, Chemistry
Three additional projects received funding from the TQT Grand Challenge and Technology Development streams:
Development of terahertz polariton lasers
Professor Zbigniew Wasilewski, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Quantum light sources based on deterministic photon subtraction
Michal Bajcsy, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Quantum state tomography with machine learning
Roger Melko, Physics and Astronomy