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Jeff Shainline (Fed)

Staff Scientist

In the last half century, we’ve witnessed transformative changes in society enabled by computing technology. Presently, a new revolution in computation is taking place in which we’re rethinking everything from hardware to architecture. For example, the integration of optical components with traditional electronics is occurring rapidly. Photons and electrons offer complimentary attributes for information processing. Electronic effects are superior for computation and memory, while light is excellent for communication and I/O. Leveraging the strengths of both becomes crucial for systems with distributed memory and massive connectivity. My research is at the confluence of integrated photonics and superconducting electronics with the aim of developing superconducting optoelectronic networks. A principal goal is to combine waveguide-integrated few-photon sources with superconducting single-photon detectors and Josephson circuits to enable a new paradigm of large-scale neuromorphic computing. Photonic signaling enables massive connectivity. Superconducting circuitry enables extraordinary efficiency. Computation and memory occur in the superconducting electronic domain, while communication is via light. Thus, the system utilizes the strengths of photons and electrons to enable high-speed, energy-efficient neuromorphic computing at the scale of the human brain.


  • J.M. Shainline, S.W. Nam, S.M. Buckley, R.P. Mirin and T. Gerrits, “Hybrid semiconductor-superconductor platform for neuromorphic computing.”
  • J.M. Shainline, M. Popovic, J.S. Orcutt, and V. Stojanovic “Depletion-mode carrier-plasma optical modulator in zero-change advanced CMOS.”
  • J.S. Orcutt, J.M. Shainline, M. Popovic, V. Stojanovic, Z. Sternberg, O. Tehar-Zahav, and R. Meade, “BEOL waveguide integration and formation of hybrid BEOL/FEOL waveguides.”
  • O. Tehar-Zahav, Z. Sternberg, R. Meade, E. Megged, J.S. Orcutt, J.M. Shainline, M. Popovic and V. Stojanovic, “Selective polycrystalline silicon defect-state detector formation.”
  • R. Meade, K. Mehta, E. Megged, J. Orxcutt, M. Popovic, R. Ram, J. Shainline, Z. Sternberg, V. Stojanovi, and O. Tehar-Zahav, “Method and optoelectronic structure providing polysilicon photonic devices with different optical properties in different regions.”


Demonstration of Superconducting Optoelectronic Single-Photon Synapses

Saeed Khan, Bryce Primavera, Jeff Chiles, Adam McCaughan, Sonia Buckley, Alexander Tait, Adriana Lita, John Biesecker, Anna Fox, David Olaya, Richard Mirin, Sae Woo Nam, Jeff Shainline
Superconducting optoelectronic hardware is being explored as a path towards artificial spiking neural networks with unprecedented scales of complexity and

Optoelectronic Intelligence

Jeff Shainline
To design and construct hardware for general intelligence, we must consider principles of both neuroscience and very-large-scale integration. For large neural



NIST Inventors
Jeff Shainline , Adam McCaughan , Sae Woo Nam and Manuel Castellanos Beltran
patent description We recently invented and patented a new type of hardware for neuromorphic computing (Phys. Rev. Applied, 7, 034013 (2017) (attached to email). The key ideas are to use integrated photonic devices for massive connectivity nd superconducting electronics for efficient memory and


NIST Inventors
Sae Woo Nam , Jeff Shainline and Sonia Buckley
patent description We propose a NC system based on superconducting detectors and electronics working with waveguide-integrated nano-LED emitters to behave as complete spiking neurons. Optical signals are communicated through reconfigurable nanophotonic waveguides, capturing the interconnectivity of
Created February 26, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022