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Physics and Hardware for Intelligence


Artificial intelligence increasingly affects many aspects of society. New computational hardware based on information-processing in the brain is being developed to lead to more powerful AI systems. Working within this field of “neuromorphic computing”, our project combines integrated photonics for communication with superconducting electronics for computation to construct large-scale neuromorphic systems for AI. Optical signals broadcast over a network of nanophotonic waveguides enable massive connectivity between artificial neurons. Superconducting single-photon detectors integrated with waveguides enable communication at the physical limit of energy efficiency. Superconducting electronic circuits based on Josephson junctions are excellent for performing neural computations. Together, synapses, dendrites, and neurons combining these devices can achieve the complexity, connectivity, and scale of the human brain. We are developing the devices and systems to realize superconducting optoelectronic networks for neuromorphic supercomputing.


He4 cryostat

The 1K stage of a He4 cryostat with several mounted samples.

Our work in this area can be separated into two categories: conceptual and experimental. Please read our publications linked below for more information.


Optical microscope and SEM images
Optical microscope and SEM images of a waveguide coupled superconducting nanowire single photon detector on a silicon waveguide.



We currently have opportunities for postdocs. NIST Boulder and the University of Colorado are within walking distance of each other, creating a vibrant intellectual and scientific community. With over 300 sunny days per year and ample opportunities for outdoor and cultural recreation, Boulder is an excellent place to live. The salary of a starting postdoc at NIST is $70,000, far superior to many academic postdoc salaries. Please contact Jeff Shainline ( if you are interested in these opportunities.

Created August 13, 2019, Updated February 26, 2020