David Awschalom is the Liew Family Professor and Deputy Director of the Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, a Senior Scientist and Quantum Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory, and Director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. He is also the inaugural director of Q-NEXT, one of the US Department of Energy Quantum Information Science Research Centers. Before arriving in Chicago, he was the Peter J. Clarke Director of the California NanoSystems Institute and Professor of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California – Santa Barbara. He served as a Research Staff member and Manager of the Nonequilibrium Physics Department at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Professor Awschalom received the American Physical Society Oliver E. Buckley Prize and Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, the European Physical Society Europhysics Prize, the Materials Research Society David Turnbull Award and Outstanding Investigator Prize, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the International Magnetism Prize and the Néel Medal from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the NAS, the NAAE, and the European Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Professor Awschalom's research involves understanding and controlling the spins of individual electrons, nuclei, and photons for fundamental studies of quantum systems and their interactions amongst themselves and their environments. This includes exploring potential applications of quantum states in computing, sensing and communication. He develops a variety of time- and spatially-resolved measurement techniques to probe spin-dependent quantum dynamics in semiconductors, heterostructures, and molecular structures. These experiments revealed long-lived electron spin coherence in semiconductors, macroscopic transport of coherent spin states, electrical spin injection in semiconductors, ultrafast manipulation of electron and nuclear spins, engineered magnetic heterostructures, and the discovery of the spin-Hall effect. His temporally and spatially resolved experiments investigate the spin degrees of freedom in a wide variety of semiconductor heterostructures and nanometer-scale systems, ranging from II-VI diluted magnetic semiconductors to III-V ferromagnetic semiconductors to diamond, silicon carbide, and magnetic ion-doped molecules. Recently, he has created techniques to extend quantum coherent states in matter through electrical control of semiconductors and the creation of decoherence protected subspaces. These studies make spins attractive for the implementation of quantum information processing through the creation and control of single electron and nuclear spin coherence in both semiconductors and chemically assembled structures.

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Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics