Fall 2020

Why and How to Integrate 2D Materials in Future Electronics

Ya-Ping Hsieh, Mario Hofmann
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 9:00am

Abstract: 2D materials are atomically thin nanostructures that are considered enabling elements in future electronics due to their unique geometry and exciting physical properties. To realize such applications, however, challenges in materials quality and production have to be addressed. In this talk we will first introduce a novel growth method that can enhance the scale, reliability, and controllability of 2D materials synthesis. Through control of the gas phase kinetics of the chemical vapor deposition process, efficient 2D materials growth could...

Steering Photons to Control Light and Heat on the Nanoscale

Ognjen Ilic
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 12:00pm

Abstract: Nanoscale photonic structures such as metamaterials and metasurfaces are enabling manipulation of light and heat in unprecedented ways. In this talk, I will present our research on shaping and controlling electromagnetic fields associated with thermal and mechanical applications. In the first part of my talk, I will present the work on tailoring high-temperature thermal emission by photonic elements that enable light recycling, relevant for high-efficiency heat-to-electricity energy harvesting. Next, I will show how nano-structured two-dimensional materials can...

Development of a More Inclusive Quantum Workforce

Multiple Speakers
Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:00pm

Charles Robinson (IBM), Julie Love (Microsoft), Thomas Searles (Howard U.), Diana Franklin (U. of Chicago, Q-12 Partnership) discuss how to create a more inclusive quantum workforce in this QED-C hosted panel webinar.

Zoom link: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/92246708740?pwd=dXFVejFnZW1iMWhKUFNDazRwRFBxdz09

Passcode: 121936

Quantum2020 on Thursday, Oct. 29th

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 27 October 2020

We invite the PQI community to attend Quantum2020 “Spooky Action at a Distance - a Remote Poster Session”  that takes place October 29th, 2020 from 3-5:15 PM over 2 sessions (Session A 3PM-4PM, Session B 4:15PM-5:15PM). View the poster gallery and schedule at qr.pqi.org/quantum2020galllery!

This is an interdisciplinary event with a focus on quantum science and engineering! We are encouraging the participants to make their presentation accessible to a broad audience to foster potential collaborations and lessen communication barriers that may exist between different fields.

Topological Electromagnetic Phases of Matter

Zubin Jacob
Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 4:00pm


Dirac Matter: Over the last decade the concept of Dirac matter has emerged to the forefront of condensed matter physics. Prominent examples include the physics of the Dirac point in Graphene, Weyl points in topological semi-metals (TaAs) and edge states in topological insulators (Bi2Te3). These phases of matter are a playground for studying effects related to the Dirac equation and geometry of the electron wavefunction. We note, however, that they are defined only with respect to the properties of the electron (eg: bandstructure)....

Facebook and Carnegie Mellon Launch the Open Catalyst Project

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 26 October 2020

Facebook AI and Professor Zach Ulissi in the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Department of Chemical Engineering are announcing the Open Catalyst Project, a collaboration intended to use AI to accelerate quantum mechanical simulations by 1,000x in order to discover new electrocatalysts needed for more efficient and scalable ways to store and use renewable energy. The overview paper and dataset paper for this work can be found on arXiv.org.

Wind and solar energy are vital parts of the modern energy grid, especially if we hope to combat climate change. Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. Both provide intermittent power, with California, for instance, seeing peak solar generation in the afternoon rather than in the evening, when demand spikes. Increasing our reliance on renewable energy requires storing power for days, weeks, or even months so that it’s available when needed.

PQI Seminar: Dr. Chris Lirakis

Dr. Chris Lirakis from IBM-Q gave a talk titled "What does it Take to Build a Quantum Computer" in the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Fall Seminar series on Oct. 1st, 2020.

Abstract: IBM has been working on realizing a quantum computer since the idea first surfaced in 1982. Early instantiations were photon-based and proved that indeed bit like information could be stored in a quantum state. Since then many different modalities have sprung up, Trapped Ions and Superconducting qubits being the most popular. The IBM systems are on the path to error correction. However, we still have a long way to go. The path to success will be paved by wide scale acceptance and training in these using this new computational paradigm. All manner of expertise will be important on the road to success. Beyond the need for experts in quantum computation, the nation will need experts in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science and other disciplines. During this talk I will show how IBM is using superconducting technology as quantum bits (qubits) and all of the ancillary technology along with notions of the types of problems we wish to solve. The goal is to show how each of this disciplines can help on the path to large scale system.

PQI Seminar: Dr. Paul Ohodnicki

Dr. Paul Ohodnicki from the University of Pittsburgh gave a talk titled "Energy Infrastructure Sensing Technologies and Opportunities for Quantum" in the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Fall Seminar series on Sept. 24th, 2020.

Abstract: An overview will be presented of some emerging platforms that are relevant for energy infrastructure sensing applications including both optical fiber and passive wireless technologies. Example motivating applications will be presented including grid modernization, energy resource recovery and transport, and power generation, along with an overview of existing and future sensing technologies under investigation. A specific emphasis will be placed upon opportunities and limitations in such applications for quantum materials and quantum sensing concepts to enhance capabilities of current and emerging technology platforms, as well as to realize new capabilities which would not be otherwise possible.

PQI Seminar: Dr. Venkat Gopalan

Dr. Venkat Gopalan from Pennsylvania State University gave a talk titled "Antisymmetry: Fundamentals and Applications" in the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Fall Seminar series on Sept. 17th, 2020.

Abstract: Symmetry is fundamental to understanding our physical world. An antisymmetry operation switches between two different states of a trait, such as two time-states, position-states, charge-states, spin-states, chemical-species etc. This talk will cover the fundamental concept of antisymmetry, with brief mentions of two well-established antisymmetries, namely spatial inversion in point groups and time reversal. Then it will introduce two new ones, namely, distortion reversal and wedge reversion. The distinction between classical and quantum mechanical descriptions of time reversal will be discussed. Applications of these antisymmetries will be presented such as crystallography, property tensors, transition state theory, magnetic structures, ferroelectric and multiferroic switching, and classifying physical quantities in arbitrary dimensions.

PQI Seminar: Dr. Arthur Davidson

Dr. Arthur Davidson, retiree from Carnegie Mellon University, gave a talk titled "Rings and tunnel junctions: Quantum mechanics on a circle" in the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Fall Seminar series on Sept. 10th, 2020.

Abstract: We show by standard quantum principles that two circuits, a small tunnel junction and a small metal loop with an electron, are related by a gauge transformation. We show further that this same transform prevents momentum eigen functions from having gauge invariant de Broglie wave lengths around a ring. Thus persistent current on a metal ring and the Coulomb blockade on a small tunnel junction seem to be the same dynamical theory based on discontinuous Bloch waves on the perimeter of a circle. This is historically an area of simple quantum circuits where the principle of gauge invariance has not been applied. It is remarkable that some of these circuits are of intense current interest as candidates for qubit circuits for quantum computers.