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Quantum Processes and Metrology Group


The Quantum Processes and Metrology Group focuses on developing and exploiting precision metrology at the interface between atomic and nanoscale systems where optics, quantum optics and quantum information play a defining role. Systems under study include ultracold atoms and molecules, quantum dots and wires, optical microcavities, the quantum optics of nanosystems, metallic nanoparticles, nanomechanical systems, and systems with nanoscale features induced on surfaces by highly charged ions. Such systems arise in atomic clocks, quantum information, quantum devices, nanolasers, detectors, biomarkers and sensors, nanomaterials, and advanced lithography.

Our research combines theory and experiment. Theory is used to extend the fundamental understanding of systems at the atomic/nanoscale interface, probing the frontier between the classical and the quantum to interpret experiment, to explore new applications in nanoscale and quantum technologies, and to motivate new and enhanced precision metrology. For example, we are developing the theoretical understanding needed to create nanooptics  and quantum dot structures that will be needed in emerging quantum and nanoscale technologies, to develop next generation atomic clocks, to simulate condensed matter with cold atoms and to implement useful quantum information, detection and measurement protocols. 

Experiment programs are being conducted to develop new precision measurement tools for this regime, to collect precise data essential for the applications mentioned, and to further the understanding of these systems. We are probing the charge and spin transport, optical, and mechanical properties of nanoscale and quantum-coherent systems. We are developing and exploiting the metrology needed to make accurate optical and transport measurements of individual quantum nanosystems and subatomic dimensions.  We are developing quantum dots as reliable sources of single photons, charge qubits and spin qubits, and are developing the tools to entangle the photons and qubits from such dots.   We are creating nanomechanical devices whose mechanical vibration can approach the quantum ground state, opening the way to applying the concepts of non-classicality to macroscopic physical systems. Ultrahigh precision measurements of the linear and nonlinear optical response of fluids and lens materials needed for next generation optical lithography are being developed and carried out. Such measurements are critically needed by the semiconductor industry to develop immersion lithography for sub-100 nm optical nanolithography.


Fabry-Perot Displacement Interferometry—High-resolution Fabry-Perot interferometry is being developed and employed for demanding applications in mechanical displacement metrology.

Micro- and nano-optomechanical systems—Light can interact with mechanical systems in interesting and useful ways, not only probing the mechanical motion with spectacular sensitivity, but also driving the mechanics via radiation pressure …

Si-Based Single Spin Coherence and Manipulation—We are characterizing Si-based single-electron quantum dots at low temperatures (down to 10 mK) to explore the possibility of quantum coherent manipulation in Si-based technology.

Silicon-based single electron current standards —We are working to fabricate and perform low-temperature measurements of CMOS-compatible single electron devices in silicon which could be used as a standard of electrical current. Our goal is to …

Fabrication and Metrology of Novel Magnetic Tunnel Junctions in the Ultra-thin Barrier Limit—Magnetic tunnel junctions, nanostructured by highly charged ions, are being probed and characterized to establish the foundation for novel magnetic random access memory architectures expected to …

Quantum State Manipulation of Ultra-cold Fermionic and Bosonic Atoms—This theoretical research is done in collaboration with scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), both research …

Ultracold atoms and molecules —Theory for ultracold atomic and molecular collisions and interactions is being developed and exploited to gain precise control over these interactions through tunable magnetic, electric, or …

Light-matter Interactions in Semiconductor Nanostructures—The quantum optics of light interacting with semiconductor-based nanostructures is being studied to extend concepts of entanglement and coherence in atomic physics to solid-state systems such as …

Designing the Nanoworld: Nanostructures, Nanodevices, and Nanooptics—Nanoscale theory of the electronic, optical and mechanical properties of ultrasmall structures, devices and their dynamical operation and the nanooptics of these systems is being developed to …

Advanced Linear and Nonlinear Optical Metrology in support of next-generation Lithography—High precision linear and nonlinear optics of next-generation lithographic techniques is measured and characterized to enable these technologies.


For Technical Inquiries:

Garnett Bryant, Group Leader
100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8423
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8423

301-975-2595 Telephone
301-975-5485 Facsimile

301-975-3206 Secretary Telephone