News


Sergey Frolov's Research Article Named Best Article of the Year by Science

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 24 February 2013

A paper in the prestigious journal Science coauthored by PQI faculty Sergey Frolov has garnered him and his colleagues the 2012 Newcomb Cleveland Prize, an annual honor awarded to the author or authors of the best research article or report appearing in Science, which is published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The prize carries with it a cash award of $25,000.


Theoretical Chemistry Research Looks to Reduce Side Effects of Medications for Depression, Addiction, Disease

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 14 February 2013

A research team including PQI faculty Dr. Jeffry D. Madura is attempting to unravel the regulation of dopamine, which leads to happiness. By mapping how these critical neurotransmitters are controlled, Madura and colleagues are trying to better understand the function and structure of the proteins that modulate the receptor/transporter processes of dopamine and serotonin as well as amphetamines and cocaine. The group already has identified a compound as a potential new class of serotonin inhibitors, which would work with the proteins that transport the hormone.

Their initial findings were reported in the Biophysical Journal, with their detailed analysis expected to be published soon.


Kevin Chen Awarded DoD Grant to Build Laser Shooter to Detect Foreign Substances

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 27 September 2012

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity fired its first laser beam in August, blasting a space rock at more than one million watts per shot to determine whether the red planet could be habitable. The method, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), is used to detect not only the composition of space-related soils but also an array of foreign materials. Now, with the help of a $1.12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, PQI faculty Kevin Chen will build upon the LIBS technique and related instruments to dramatically improve the detection sensitivity of the technology for substances of interest to Homeland Security.


Measuring Many-Body Entanglement

  • By Workstudy User
  • 4 September 2012

PQI faculty Andrew Daley and his colleagues have proposed a scheme for the measurement of entanglement in a system of cold atoms in an optical lattice. Entanglement is an important theoretical concept, but was previously thought to be difficult to measure in microscopic many-particle systems. They tackle the problem by asking how one might track the changes in entanglement in a nonequilibrium many-body system.

Their proposal involves an optical lattice created by lasers and filled with bosons: identical copies of a boson chain stored in the lattice are coupled as a potential barrier between them is reduced. After tunneling has occurred, a measurement of how the lattice wells are populated would give the entanglement entropy.


Sergey Frolov Receives Young Scientist Award from the International Conference on Superlattices, Nanostructures and Nanodevices

  • By Workstudy User
  • 4 September 2012

PQI faculty Sergey Frolov receives 2012 Young Scientist Award from the International Conference on Superlattices, Nanostructures and Nanodevices (SSN) "for the development of semiconductor devices based on spin-orbit interaction." This award recognizes a young scientist for his/her work in the scientific areas covered by the conference.


PQI Launch

  • By Workstudy User
  • 1 September 2012

The Pitt Quantum Initiative is scheduled to launch officially in September, 2012.  PQI members will be informed by e-mail and we will schedule an initial meeting to discuss current and future plans for the PQI.


Jung-Kun Lee Awarded NSF Grant for Solar Cell Research

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 6 July 2012

Jung-Kun Lee has received a National Science Foundation grant for his research into solar cell energy conversion. The grant, Solid State Dye Sensitized Solar Cells Using Tunable Surface Plasmons of Core-Shell Particles, is $290,724 over three years.  

The objectives of this research are to develop a fundamental understanding the physical interactions among surface plasmons, solar light modulation, and carrier/exciton generation, and to design the novel plasmonic particles (i.e. metal nanoshell) that enhance light absorption capacity of solid dye sensitized solar cells.


Nanoscientists Suggest Use of Vacuums to Overcome Limits of Conventional Silicon-Based Semiconductor Electronics

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 2 July 2012

With the advent of semiconductor transistors—invented in 1947 as a replacement for bulky and inefficient vacuum tubes—has come the consistent demand for faster, more energy-efficient technologies. To fill this need, researchers at PQI are proposing a new spin on an old method: a switch from the use of silicon electronics back to vacuums as a medium for electron transport—exhibiting a significant paradigm shift in electronics. Their findings were published in Nature Nanotechnology.

"Physical barriers are blocking scientists from achieving more efficient electronics," said Hong Koo Kim, PQI faculty and principal investigator on the project. "We worked toward solving that road block by investigating transistors and its predecessor—the vacuum."

Pages