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Adam McCaughan (Fed)

Adam McCaughan is a staff scientist at NIST in Boulder, CO.  His current research is on megapixel-class single-photon cameras, algorithms for hardware neural networks, and neuromorphic systems.  He received his PhD from MIT under Prof. Karl Berggren, where he first studied superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors and where he was awarded the Jin Au Kong Award for outstanding PhD thesis. Recently he was named a Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellow by NASA for his work on superconducting-nanowire single-photon detector arrays.


  • NASA Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship - 2019
  • NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateship - 2016
  • MIT EECS Jin Au Kong Outstanding Thesis Award - 2016
  • NSF Fellowship - 2013
  • NSF IQuISE Graduate Research Fellowship - 2010


A superconducting nanowire single-photon camera with 400,000 pixels

Bakhrom Oripov, Dana Rampini, Jason Allmaras, Matt Shaw, Sae Woo Nam, Boris Korzh, Adam McCaughan
For the past 50 years, superconducting detectors have offered exceptional sensitivity and speed for detecting faint electromagnetic signals in a wide range of

Patents (2018-Present)

System And Mathod For Parameter Multiplexed Gradient Descent

NIST Inventors
Adam McCaughan , Sonia Buckley and Andrew Dienstfrey
Embodiments of the present invention relate to systems and model-free methods for perturbing neural network hardware parameters and measure the neural network response that are implemented natively within the neural network hardware and without requiring a knowledge of the internal structure of the

Josephson Junction Circuits For Single-Photon Optoelectronic Neurons And Synapses

NIST Inventors
Jeff Shainline , Adam McCaughan and Manuel Castellanos Beltran
Single-photon optoelectronic neurons convert the optical signals of single photons to the electrical domain where summing and thresholding operations are performed. In these circuits, the photonic signals are converted to an electronic signal using a superconducting single-photon detector in
Line drawing of the thermal impedance amplifier

Thermal Impedance Amplifier

NIST Inventors
Adam McCaughan , Varun Verma and Sonia Buckley
A thermal impedance amplifier includes: a resistive layer including: a resistance member; a first electrode in electrical communication with the resistance member; and a second electrode in electrical communication with the resistance member; a switch layer opposing the resistive layer and including
Created June 19, 2018, Updated October 24, 2023