Two EPFL scientists win quantum research grants

Two EPFL scientists win quantum-research grants

This year, the US Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, the Griffiss InstituteOneida County, and State University of New York formed a partnership named Innovare Advancement Center.

As part of its launch, Innovare hosted a global quantum-focused pitch competition under the title “$1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator” between 1-2 September 2020. The competition was supported by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the US Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate.

Nearly 250 research teams from 22 countries submitted proposals for the competition, and 36 of these were finally selected to pitch their “potentially game-changing concepts related to quantum timing, sensing, information processing/computing, and communications/networking”.

Eighteen teams have now qualified for a part of basic research funding, which totals to more than $1 million. Among the 18 winning teams are the groups of Professors Nicolas Grandjean and Tobias J. Kippenberg at EPFL in Switzerland.

Professor Grandjean directs the Laboratory of Advanced Semiconductors for Photonics and Electronics within EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences. His research explores quantized structures based on emerging semiconductors in both photonics and electronics, from fundamental studies around light-matter interaction in microcavities and nanostructures, to photonic devices such as blue lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). He also studies III-V nitride semiconductors, which are promising materials for novel electronic and optoelectronic technologies, e.g. quantum microcavities, quantum dots and nanostructures, photonic crystals, and short-wavelength optoelectronics.

Professor Kippenberg directs the Lab of Photonics and Quantum Measurements, affiliated with EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences and School of Engineering. His research interest lies in experimental and theoretical research in photonics, notably high quality factor (Q) optical microcavities and their use in cavity quantum optomechanics and frequency metrology. His group famously discovered chip-scale Kerr frequency comb generation and observed radiation pressure backaction effects in microresonators that have now developed into the field of cavity optomechanics.