The UW is internationally renowned in research areas that are critical to the success of a Quantum-X initiative, which includes quantum information science, quantum sensing, quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum encryption. The UW’s areas of strength related to Quantum-X include: Quantum Materials (e.g. two-dimensional materials), Quantum Photonics (the interactions between light and materials), Quantum Sensing (including axion-search experiments, radiation detection and quantum-defect field sensing), Quantum Chemistry, Quantum Theory, Quantum Field Theory, Computational Physics, Quantum Simulation using High-Performance Computing.

The UW’s expertise in these areas are distributed across the UW campus, residing mainly in Departments of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Material Science and Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The research is further supported by state-of-the-art cross-campus user facilities including:


UW Molecular Engineering and Materials Center (MEM•C)

UW MEM-C, an NSF MRSEC center, supports a wide range of research projects aimed at accelerating our understanding of quantum materials and materials for quantum information. The first interdisciplinary research group (IRG1) focuses on defects, which can serve as spin qubits and single photon sources in colloidal inorganic nanocrystals. IRG 2 is focused on discovering new forms of quantum matter in atomically layered materials. Learn More

Physics of entanglement

Silas Beane (UW Physics), David Kaplan (UW Physics, INT), Kenneth Roche (PNNL), Alessandro Roggero (INT), Martin Savage (UW Physics, INT) Learn More Entanglement is perhaps the defining feature of quantum mechanics.  Our group is working to better understand its role in the structure and dynamics of strongly coupled quantum many-body systems.

Coherence control of spin dynamics

Xiaosong Li / Learn More Understanding spin and magnetization dynamics is crucial to many advanced scientific research and technological developments in quantum computing and quantum information systems. The Li group is developing time-dependent many-electron theories and computational methods that can be applied to simulate physically relevant non-equilibrium spin dynamics and internal spin couplings.

Ab initio quantum materials

Xiaodong Xu, Kai-Mei Fu with Dirk Englund (PI, MIT), Jing Kong (MIT), Marko Loncar (Harvard), Jianwei Miao (UCLA), Pineha Narang (Harvard) / Learn More This project seeks to make a major advances in solid-state quantum technologies by developing tools to predict – from first-principles quantum theory – the properties of quantum materials, and then to fabricate, image and measure them at the atomic scale.

Synthesis of tailored quantum emitters

David Ginger, Brandi Cossairt, Daniel Gamelin Solution-processable quantum dots and doped materials offer compelling advantages for scaling, tunability, and heterointegration in quantum information systems. Our team is exploring new materials and synthetic methods that can open the door to precisely tailored, chemically synthesized quantum materials with both coherent emission and unique properties (such as a strong optical Stark effect) for quantum-enabled technologies.

Molecular synthesis of nanodiamond quantum sensors

Peter Pauzauskie, Xiaosong Li, Rhonda Stroud (NRL) / Learn More The synthesis of nanoscale materials for quantum sensing and communication applications remains a persistent challenge. In this project atomically-precise, molecular precursors are being employed for the synthesis of well-defined quantum point defects in nanodiamond materials. Recently, tetraethylorthoxysilane (TEOS) molecules have been used to create negatively-charged silicon-divacancy (SiV) point defect in nanodiamond materials.

2D Trapped Ion crystals

Boris Blinov  / Learn More Trapped ions are one of the world’s leading technology platforms for quantum computing but have primarily been limited to linear, or one-dimensional traps.  The 2D Trapped Ion Crystal Project in the Trapped Ion Quantum Computing Lab at UW is developing a novel trap geometry specifically for two-dimensional crystals of ions, allowing us to increase the number of qubits available for quantum logic operations.

Ultracold Atoms and Molecules

Subhadeep Gupta Learn More Ultracold neutral atoms can be used for studies in few-body physics and chemistry as well as applied towards quantum information processing. We are working with ultracold atoms to study quantum superfluids, coherently prepare ultracold molecules and perform precision interfometry and fundamental tests.

Photonic-Enabled Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum System (PHOENIQS)

Arka Majumdar (students Yueyang Chen, David Rosser, Abhi Saxena) / Learn More The project aims to realize an nanophotonic array of coupled nonlinear cavities, where the quantum materials enable nonlinearity at the few-photon level. The resulting quantum photonic platform is impossible to simulate in any classical computer and will allow synthesis of novel quantum states of light.

Majorana modes in a 2D platform based on monolayer topological insulator WTe2

David Cobden and Lukasz Fidkowski    In principle, decoherence of qubits can be avoided using “topological protection”, with the most promising scheme for such topological protection being based on so-called Majorana modes. In this project, the PIs are seeking to engineer such Majorana zero modes by proximity-inducing superconductivity at the edge of monolayer WTe2.

Deterministic photonic graph-state repeater networks from solid state emitters integrated in chiral photonic circuits

Mo Li (UW ECE/Physics), Xiaodong Xu (UW Physics/MSE) with Sophia Economou (PI, Virginia Tech), Gurudev Dutt (University of Pittsburgh), Edwin Barnes (Virignia Tech) This project addresses the pressing need for secure communication at long distance scales while employing minimal resources using novel theoretical schemes. The approach is based on the development of new, high-quality light sources capable of producing many quantum-correlated (entangled) photons at a high rate; these light sources will be integrated into a device that is capable of directing the photons on a microchip and reliably guiding them to optical fibers for long-distance transmission.

An Integrated Quantum Communication Transmission Node

Kai-Mei Fu (PI, UW physics/ECE), Arka Majumdar (UW ECE/Physics), Alejandro Rodriguez (Princeton), Maiken Mikkelsen (Duke) / Learn More The project employs two transformative approaches to seek solutions to scaling quantum communication systems: an integrated hybrid-materials platform to realize multi-device functionality and state-of the art computational techniques to design the desired performance under the constraints of semiconductor fabrication processing.

Photonic quantum networks for measurement-based quantum computing

Kai-Mei Fu / Learn More A critical resource for quantum computers is quantum entanglement. Our group works on realizing efficient quantum entanglement with quantum defects by (1) understanding and contolling the spin and optical properties of defects (e.g. donors in ZnO) and (2) designing, implementing, and testing integrated quantum circuits in diamond with the aim to significantly increase quantum entanglement generation rates on a chip.

spectrahedralSpectrahedral lifts of polytopes and quantum communication

James R. Lee / Learn more Semidefinite programming (SDP) is a surprisingly powerful optimization tool, and it is natural to ask whether a given polytope has a succinct SDP formulation. It turns out that every such formulation contains within it a quantum communication protocol, where the number of qubits communicated is characterized by the dimension of the formulation

Scientific Computing on Quantum Devices

Silas Beane (UW Physics), David Kaplan (UW Physics, INT), Kenneth Roche (PNNL), Alessandro Roggero (INT), Martin Savage (UW Physics, INT) / Learn More Quantum computing has the potential to solve critical problems that cannot be addressed with classical computation in understanding the structure of matter in both relativistic particle physics and nonrelativistic nuclear and condensed matter physics. Our group is involved in formulating mappings of quantum systems, developing algorithms for their initialization and evolution, and performing computations, on near-term and ideal quantum devices. We also study how quantum field theory can aid in the development and operation of quantum devices.

Quantum Machine Learning on Identifying Higgs Bosons

Shih-Chieh Hsu The discovery of Higgs boson opens new windows to search for Beyond the Standard Model physics thanks to predictions of new particles decaying to Higgs bosons. Identification of extremely rare Higgs bosons from enormously abundant background at the Big Bang machine, LHC, is a challenging and sophisticated task. It is possible that quantum computing can provide a different, and better way to achieve global optimization. UW ATLAS team is employing Machine Learning algorithms to address Higgs identification problems in order to maximize the discovery potential in the even more complicated environment at the High-Luminosity LHC to be launched in 2026.

Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX)

Gray Rybka, Leslie Rosenberg / Learn More ADMX searches for extremely tiny signals from interactions with dark matter using superconducting cryogenic amplifiers (SQUIDs and JPAs) operating at the standard quantum limit.  The experiment (operating at UW) is seeking to improve sensitivity beyond the standard quantum limit with single microwave photon manipulation, squeezing, and counting.

A nanoscale, unbleachable orientation and position quantum sensor for biophysical imaging

Kai-Mei Fu and Paul Wiggins / Learn More The project is developing a novel sensor for biophysical applications that can simultaneously measure the three-dimensional position and orientation of a nanoparticle magnetic probe by imaging the photoluminescence from quantum defects in diamond.

Mesoscopic quantum metrology with levitated optomechanical systems

Peter Pauzauskie (UW MSE), Nick Vamivakas (PI, U. Rochester), Andrew Geraci (Northwestern), Jack Harris (Yale), Mishkatul Bhattacharya (RIT), Bruce Kane (U. Maryland) / Learn More Quantum sensing of weak forces and small displacements frequently requires cooling detectors near absolute zero. In this project nanoscale ceramic materials are being designed, synthesized, and tested for use in reaching translational quantum harmonic ground states through a combination of single-beam laser trapping and solid-state laser-refrigeration.