Research Groups

Atomic Physics

The Atomic Physics groups are structured as
the Center for Ultracold Atoms:

MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA)

The Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA) brings together a community of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University to pursue research in the new fields that that have been opened by the creation of ultracold atoms and quantum gases. The CUA is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CUA’s research is currently organized around the themes of strongly correlated states of ultracold atoms and quantum state control of atoms and photons. The research is carried out in dedicated facilities at MIT and Harvard University by a community of approximately 100 graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate students and visitors who work under the supervision of the Center’s senior investigators in collaborative projects.

The group is led by Professor Wolfgang Ketterle, Professor Daniel Kleppner, Professor David E. Pritchard, Professor Vladan Vuletic, and Professor Martin W. Zwierlein

Visit the group’s website

Sub Research Groups of the CUA:

Atomic Quantum Gases Group

Quantum mechanics tells us how to predict the behavior of the microscopic world. For a single particle, the Schrödinger equation can be simulated on a computer. However, if we’re interested in a quantum system of many interacting particles, the difficulty of the problem scales up exponentially, and it becomes intractable to even the largest supercomputers. Experiments with ultracold atoms can achieve an unprecedented level of control over the building blocks of matter. We can tailor energy landscapes and Hamiltonians as we see fit to simulate other materials and also to discover new phases of matter never before seen in nature.

The group is led by Professor Wolfgang Ketterle and Professor Martin W. Zwierlein

Visit the Zwierlein Group website

Visit the Ketterle Group website

Atoms and Photons Group

The Vuletić group strives to manipulate atoms and photons in systems where the particles’ quantum nature dominates. Our work touches on quantum measurement, quantum control, quantum feedback, mesoscopic systems and entanglement.

Investigations:

Nonlinearities at the single photon level
Spatially Separating Photons
Switching with Single Photons
Measurements beyond the standard quantum limit
Better Atomic Clocks – Using Trapped Atoms Near a Microfabricated Chip to Realize an Atomic Clock Operating Below the Atomic Projection-Noise Limit

The group is led by Professor Vladan Vuletić

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Quanta Research Group

Quantum computers are constructed using completely different building blocks from electronic computers. In our lab, we investigate the possibility of constructing quantum computers with single ions i.e. charged atoms, which can be precisely controlled and manipulated with electromagnetic fields, and laser light. We build computers from single atomic ions, one at a time, held by oscillating electromagnetic fields above the surface of microfabricated chips. These atoms can serve as quantum bits, both for new models of information processing, and as exquisite sensors for observing new physics.

Investigations:

Micro-cavity experiment integrating an ion trap with an optical cavity
Cryogenic ion trap experiment investigating fundamental obstacles to the scalability of ion traps for quantum computation
Polar molecules experiment with a goal of creating a quantum interface between trapped ion qubits and superconducting qubits

The group is led by Professor Isaac L. Chuang

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Quantum Engineering Group

Our group studies quantum dynamics and control in spin systems, with applications in quantum information and precision measurement. We develop novel experimental and theoretical techniques for robust quantum control, investigate methods for ultra-sensitive quantum metrology with single spin sensors, and design building blocks and communication protocols for quantum information processing in distributed architectures

Investigations:

Control of Individual Electronic Spins & Nuclear Spins in Quasi-1D Crystals
NV Center–Based Quantum Magnetometer
Spin Gyroscope in Diamond
Quantum Information Transport
Quantum Control & Noise Characterization

The group is led by Professor Paola Cappellaro

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RELATE - REsearch in Learning, Assessing, and Tutoring Effectively Group

Improving education using computers is the mantra of education in the 21st century. The learning potential of interactive environments, and the associated scalability and economy of internet delivery, beg for creative and thoughtful development. The RELATE program has as its broad objective the improvement of learning and pedagogy in interactive environments. Key to this is our development of integrated assessment tools with unprecedented reliability. We believe that accurate assessment of all educational innovations – not just electronic ones – is crucial to improving the mixed educational results of educational reform in the 20th century. Under support from NSF and from MIT, we have made considerable progress toward these objectives since 2000.

The group is led by Professor David E. Pritchard

Visit the RELATE Group website

Information Science and Systems

Advanced Telecommunication and Signal Processing Group

The analog television system was designed more than 50 years ago. Since then, there have been significant developments in technology, which are highly relevant to the television industries. For example, advances in the very large scale integration (VLSI) technology and signal processing theories make it feasible to incorporate frame-store memory and sophisticated signal processing capabilities in a television receiver at a reasonable cost. To exploit this new technology in developing more advanced television systems, the RLE Advanced Telecommunications and Signal Processing (ATSP) group focused on a number of issues related to digital television design. As a result of these efforts, significant advances were made and these advances were included in the current U.S. digital television standard. Specifically, the RLE ATSP group represented MIT in MIT’s participation in the Grand Alliance, which consisted of MIT, AT&T, Zenith Electronics Corporation, General Instrument Corporation, David Sarnoff Research Center, Philips Laboratories, and Thomson Consumer Electronics. The Grand Alliance digital television system served as the basis for the US Digital Television (DTV) standard, which was formally adopted by the US Federal Communications Commission in December 1996. The standard imposes substantial constraints on the way the digital television signal is transmitted and received. The standard also leaves considerable room for further improvements through technological advances. Current research focuses on making these improvements. Another focus is on the development of technologies that may be useful for future television standards such as a 3DTV standard. In addition to research on issues related to the design of digital television systems, the research program also includes research on signal processing for telecommunications applications.

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Analog Circuits and Biological Systems Group

The RLE Analog Circuits and Biological Systems group focuses on creating (1) novel molecular and cellular circuits for systems and synthetic biology; (2) implantable medical devices such as cochlear implants and brain-machine interfaces; (3) ultra-energy-efficient and ultra-low-power systems; and, (4) biological and bio-inspired supercomputers. The common theme in all of our their work is analog circuit design. The group’s interdisciplinary research analyzes, designs, instruments and repairs biological systems through engineering . It also creates novel engineering architectures through inspiration from biology. Thus, it is based on a two-way flow between biology and engineering as revealed on the group’s website.

The group is led by Professor Rahul Sarpeshkar

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Bioelectronics Group

In the Bioelectronics Group, we envision integration of biology and electronics with devices that incorporate biologically inspired components and technologies that seamlessly interface biological and electronic systems. We are currently focused on developing methods to manipulate nerve cells. The available toolkit for neural stimulation in neurological therapy and research is hindered by poor spatial resolution and is often highly invasive. By exploring novel methods of neural stimulation, we hope to realize improvement in targeted and noninvasive stimulation.

Investigations:
Minimally Invasive Neural Stimulation
Flexible High Resolution Neural Recording Arrays
Optoelectronic Neural Scaffolds

The group is led by Professor Polina O. Anikeeva

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Communication and Network Group

Set in a heterogeneous network backdrop, our research projects cover a wide range of research fields in communication and networks, spanning from fiber, to wireless, to free space optical systems, into a connected heterogeneous network. Design and analyze future optical flow-switched networks

Investigations:

Fiber Networks
Architecture design and network management and control
Physical layer impairments study
Transport layer protocol design and analysis

Wireless Networks
Directional antenna arrays and electronic beam-forming in infrastructure-less wireless networks

Free Space Optical Systems
Design and analysis of a free space optical system with controllable direction of energy propagation
Optical wireless networking

The group is led by Professor Vincent W.S. Chan, Professor Robert Gallager, and Professor Lizhong Zheng

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Computational Prototyping Group

Our research group uses several engineering design applications to drive research in simulation and optimization algorithms and software. Recent efforts have focused on the fundamentals of model-order reduction, matrix-implicit methods, and fast techniques for solving integral equations. The applications currently being examined to drive those fundamental investigations include design tools for integrated circuit interconnect, micromachined devices, aircraft, and biomolecules.

Investigations:

The modeling of the following complex systems
Blood/oil Delivery Network
Power Delivery Network for Integrated Circuit (IC) or City/State
Oil/Gas/Water Exploration
RF/Mixed Signal Circuit Blocks
Photonics Networks/Waveguides/Switches
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Heat sink for 3D IC

The group is led by Professor Jacob K. White and Professor Luca Daniel

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Continuum Electromechanics/High Voltage Group

The primary focus of Prof. Zahn’s research group is the development of theory and applications that combine electromagnetism and other disciplines. Examples of the research include:

  • Smart electric and magnetic liquids (electrohydrodynamics and ferrohydrodynamics respectively) for microfluidic, biomedical and even oil spill disaster recovery
  • Using nanoparticle technology to improve high-voltage performance of electric power apparatus;
  • Modeling of electrical streamer initiation and propagation leading to electrical breakdown;
  • Kerr electro-optic field and space charge mapping measurements in high-voltage stressed materials;
  • Development of model-based interdigital dielectrometry and magnetometry sensors for measurement of dielectric permittivity, electrical conductivity, magnetic permeability, and volume charge in flowing liquids, with applications to nondestructive testing and evaluation measurements and for the identification of metal, low-metal content, and dielectric landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Investigations:

Streamer Breakdown Mechanisms in Liquid Dielectrics
Breakdown Voltage Evaluation without Breakdown in Transformer Oil using Kerr Electro-Optic Field Mapping Measurements
Permanent Magnet Configurations for Oil Spill Recovery

The group is led by Professor Markus Zahn

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Digital Integrated Circuits and Systems Group

The Digital Integrated Circuits and Systems Group is involved with the design and implementation of various integrated systems ranging from ultra low-power wireless sensors and multimedia devices to high performance processors. The research spans across multiple levels of abstraction ranging from innovative new process technologies and circuit styles to architectures, algorithms, and software technologies. A key focus of this group is developing energy efficient integrated solutions for battery-operated systems. The group is primarily affiliated with the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL), but also conducts projects in RLE.

The group is led by Professor Anantha Chandrakasan

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Digital Signal Processing Group

What is the future of signal processing?

  • Analog and digital algorithms interacting seamlessly together
  • Signal processing implemented using a combination of living cells, photons, and electrons
  • Nonlinear mathematics for new classes of signal processing algorithms and systems
  • Smart signals that “know” what processing needs to be done on them
  • New ways of defining and manipulating the information in signals

The research mission of the Digital Signal Processing Group is to creatively advance signal processing algorithms, gaining inspiration from new mathematics and unrelated physical disciplines. We let interesting problems architect their won course by pursuing speculative ideas inspired by virtually anything surrounding. Nothing is off limits.

Investigations:

Functional Composition and Decomposition
Conservation in Signal Processing
Tunneling in Signal Processing
Random Matrix Theory in Signal Processing

The group is led by Professor Arthur B. Baggeroer and Professor Alan V. Oppenheim

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Energy-Efficient Multimedia Systems Group

Sze Group

The Energy-Efficient Multimedia Systems Group aims to develop and implement energy-efficient and high-performance systems for various multimedia applications such as video coding/processing, imaging and vision. We focus on joint design of algorithms, architectures, circuits and systems to enable optimal tradeoffs between power, speed and quality of result. Accordingly, our work traverses various levels of abstraction from energy-aware algorithm development for signal processing to efficient architecture design and low-power VLSI circuit implementation.

The group is led by Professor Vivienne Sze.

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Grossman Group

Recent advances in computational materials science equip us with a wide range of methods to investigate materials in all of their phases and forms at multiple length and time scales. We focus on the application and development of cutting edge simulation tools, coupled with experiments, to understand, predict, and design novel materials with applications in energy conversion, energy storage, thermal transport, surface phenomena, and synthesis.

Investigations:

Design of new materials for photovoltaics from the nano to the macro scales
Understanding and controlling traps in amorphous materials
Thermal transport in nanomaterials and across grain boundaries
Design of novel thermoelectric materials
Metal-organic frameworks
Solar-thermal energy storage
Water desalination
Cement chemistry

The group is led by Professor Jeffrey C. Grossman

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High-Throughput Neurotechnology Group

The High-Throughput Neurotechnology Groups aims to advance our understanding of the function and complexity of the central nervous system, and engineer it to solve big challenges in medicine. By focusing on our strengths in engineering and physical sciences, we develop novel drug screening technologies, high-throughput imaging and cell manipulation techniques, tissue patterning systems, and bioinformatics techniques to rapidly study and control the behavior and regeneration of neurons under biological conditions. We employ a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary approach including microfluidics, microrobotics, ultrafast optics/microscopy, quantum physics, tissue engineering/printing, stem cell reprogramming, genetics, and RNA/polymer biochemistry.

Investigation:

High-Throughput Single-Cell Manipulation in Brain Tissue
High-Throughput Tissue Micro-Printing Technology
Vertebrate Manipulation Technology and Hyperdimensional Phenotyping
Neuronal Regeneration after Precise In Vivo Laser Nanosurgery
Inducing Synaptic Connections in Microfluidic Chips
Generating Transplantable Human Neurons by Reprogramming Skin Cells to Stem Cells

The group is led by Professor Mehmet F. Yanik

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Integrated Systems Group

The RLE Integrated Systems Group conducts investigations in noise and dynamics of integrated circuits and systems, CMOS based electrical and optical interfaces for high-speed links, implementation of digital communication techniques to constrained systems such as high-speed links, applications of convex optimization techniques to digital communications, systems and VLSI integrated circuit design, and high performance / low-power digital circuit design.

The group is led by Professor Vladimir M. Stojanovic

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Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems

LEES research areas include electronic circuits, components and systems, power electronics and control, micro and macro electromechanics, electromagnetics, continuum electromechanics (the interaction of fields with fluids and other deformable media), high voltage engineering and dielectric physics, manufacturing and process control, and energy economics.

The group is led by Dr. Chathan M Cooke, Professor John G. Kassakian, Professor James L. Kirtley, Professor Jeffrey H. Lang, Professor Steven Leeb, Mr. David Otten, Professor David J. Perreault, Professor Joel Schindall, Professor David L. Trumper, Professor George C. Verghese, and Professor Markus Zahn

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MGM Group

The group is led by Professor Mildred Dresselhaus

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Micromechanics Group

The RLE Micromechanics Group investigates biological micromechanics, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and light microscopy and computer microvision. The group has developed a new optical paradigm for semiconductor critical dimension (CD) metrology, which the group has named Synthetic Aperture Metrology (SAM). SAM combines the speed of optical methods with the microscope imaging capability of CD scanning electron microscopy (CD-SEM). Its accuracy derives from the interference of multiple coherent laser beams. Its imaging property means that it can be used to determine CDs of arbitrary structures-not just specially-designed, periodic, metrology pads, but also CDs of designed parts such as gate widths. Since it does not require moving parts or a vacuum, SAM can be fast relative to other CD metrology tools. In addition, the group continues to work on topics related to signal transmission in the auditory system, particularly middle-ear functions in human and animal hearing.

Investigations:

Doppler Optical Coherence Microscopy
Tectorial Membrane Traveling Waves
Measuring Shear Impedance with Microfabricated Probes
Measuring Fixed Charge Concentration with Microfabricated Planar Patch Clamp

The group is led by Professor Dennis M. Freeman

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Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group

The focus of our research is in communications, with a special emphasis on the intersection between information theory and networking. We concentrate in the area of network coding and emphasize new theoretical developments as well as practical implementations.

Investigations:

Security
Algebraically Managing Interference
CTCP: Coded TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
Coding for Sustainable Storage
Harnessing Information from Partial Packets with Network Coding
Combined Network Coding and Compressive Sensing
WiMax Improvements Using Network Coding
Anonymity
Multi-path TCP
Coding for Varied Delay Sensitivities
Packetized Relaying with Network Coding

The group is led by Professor Muriel Medard

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Power Electronics Research Group

The Power Electronics Research Group systematically investigates issues relevant to the production, transformation and application of electrical energy. Specifically, the group is working on power conversion systems that are more energy efficient, more compact and provide higher performance.

We aim to develop and apply advanced technologies for improved power conversion, targeting

  • Miniaturization and integration of power electronics
  • Better performance: higher efficiency, bandwidth, operating range
  • Application to improve systems (i.e. renewables, lighting, communications)

Investigations:

Very High Frequency Power Conversion
Ultra-High-Efficiency Power Electronics
Power Electronics Technology to Benefit Specific Applications (transportation, lighting, renewable power generation and conversion, computation, communications, industrial RF heating and processing, medical applications)

The group is led by Professor David J. Perreault

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Signal Transformation and Information Representation Group

The goal of the RLE Signal Transformation and Information Representation (STIR) Group is to perform basic and applied research in signal processing with an emphasis on representing information for accurate and efficient communication. The group is interested in designing practical tools, determining fundamental limits, and understanding interactions between information representation and communication.

The group is led by Dr. Vivek K Goyal

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Signals, Information and Algorithms Laboratory

Our laboratory formulates, examines, and develops algorithmic solutions to a wide spectrum of problems of fundamental interest involving the manipulation of signals and information in diverse settings. Our work is strongly motivated by and connected with emerging applications and technologies.

In pursuing the design of efficient algorithm structures, the scope of research within the lab extends from the analysis of fundamental limits and development of architectural principles, through to implementation issues and experimental investigations. Of particular interest are the tradeoffs between performance, complexity, and robustness.

In our work, we draw on diverse mathematical tools—from the theory of information, computation, and complexity; statistical inference and learning, signal processing and systems; coding and communication; and networks and queuing—in addressing important new problems that frequently transcend traditional boundaries between disciplines.

Investigations:

Communication Under Strong Asynchronization
Novel Compression Techniques and Applications
Real‐time Streaming with Low Delay
Codes for Secure Quantum Key Distribution
Rateless Codes and Underwater Applications
Sparse Antenna Arraysfor mm‐Wave Imaging

The group is led by Professor Gregory W. Wornell

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Multiscale Bioengineering and Biophysics

Auditory Physiology Group

The RLE Auditory Physiology Group conducts research on the mechanics of the auditory system, including the external, middle, and inner ear, and neural processing mechanisms. Other interests include cochlear implants as auditory prostheses and cochlear micromechanics. Much of the work of the group is conducted in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, a joint MIT-Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary facility.

The group is led by Dr. Bertrand A.R. Delgutte, Professor Dennis M. Freeman, and Professor William T. Peake

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Biological Microtechnology and BioMEMS Group

The RLE Biological Microtechnology and BioMEMS Group performs research on microfluidics applied to fundamental and applied problems in cell biology. Our interests are specifically in cell sorting and stem cell biology. We take a quantitative approach to technology design, and take projects all the way from engineering design to fabrication to elucidating biological information with our technology.

We perform research at the intersection of biology and microtechnology, applying microfabrication technology to illuminate biological systems, especially at the cellular level. Specifically, we develop technologies that enhance or enable the acquisition of information from cells. Our research builds upon various disciplines: electrical engineering, microfabrication, bioengineering, surface science, fluid mechanics, mass transport, etc. We take a quantitative approach to designing our technology, using both analytical and numerical modeling to gain fundamental understanding of the technologies that we create.

Investigations:

Sensors for Assessing Cell Health in Microsystems
Image-Based Sorting of Cells
Microfluidic Control of Cell Pairing and Fusion
Iso-Dielectric Separation of Cells and Particles
Microprobes for the Neural System
Microfluidic Perfusion System for Stem Cell Biology

The group is led by Professor Joel Voldman

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Biomedical Optical Imaging and Biophotonics Group

The RLE Biomedical Optical Imaging and Biophotonics Group and its close collaborators were the originators of optical coherence tomography (OCT), a diagnostic technology now used in a growing number of medical fields. The group currently works to further understand and exploit the capabilities of OCT technology, with ongoing investigations in topics related to optical coherence microscopy development and optical biopsy using OCT.

The group is led by Professor James G. Fujimoto

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Computational Biophysics Group

The RLE Computational Biophysics Group is focused on understanding conformational changes in biomolecules that play an important role in common human diseases. The group uses an interdisciplinary approach combining computational modeling with biochemical experiments to make connections between conformational changes in macromolecules and disease progression. By employing two types of modeling, molecular dynamics and probabilistic modeling, hypotheses can be developed and then tested experimentally.

Investigations:

The Structure of Collagen and Collagenolysis
Immunomodulation by Collagen-like Peptides
Modeling the Unfolded State of Disordered Proteins
Modeling Physiologic Unfolding of Fibronectin with Steered Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Symbolic Analyses of Cardiovascular Signals

The group is led by Professor Collin M. Stultz

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Computational Physiology and Clinical Inference Group

The Computational Physiology and Clinical Inference Group develops and applies computational models of human physiology for clinical monitoring and inference. Our current research focuses on cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, respiratory and neurological applications.

Investigations:

Non-invasive intracranial pressure (ICP) Estimation
Disease Classification with Capnography
Assessment of brain-heart interaction via electrocardiography (ECG) variability

The group is led by Professor Thomas Heldt and Professor George C. Verghese

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Integrative Neuromonitoring and Critical Care Informatics Group

Integrative Neuromonitoring and Critical Care Informatics Group

The Integrative Neuromonitoring and Critical Care Informatics Group leverages data and models to understand the physiology of the injured brain, to improve diagnoses, and to accelerate treatment decisions for the critically ill.

The group is led by Professor Thomas Heldt.

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Laboratory for Human and Machine Haptics (The TouchLab)

The work in the RLE Laboratory for Human and Machine Haptics (also known as the Touch Lab) is guided by a broad vision of haptics which includes all aspects of information acquisition and object manipulation through touch by humans, machines, of a combination of the two; and the environments can be real or virtual. In order to make progress, we conduct research in multiple disciplines such as skin biomechanics, tactile neuroscience, human haptic perception, robot design and control, mathematical modeling and simulation, and software engineering for real-time human-computer interactions. These scientific and technological research areas converge in the context of specific application areas such as the development of virtual reality based simulators for training surgeons, real-time haptic interactions between people across the Internet, and direct control of machines from brain neural signals.

The group is led by Dr. Mandayam A. Srinivasan

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Madrid-MIT M+Vision Consortium

The Madrid-MIT M+Visión Consortium is a partnership of leaders in science, medicine, engineering, business, and the public sector dedicated to strengthening Madrid’s position as a global center of biomedical research by accelerating innovation in biomedical imaging, promoting translational research, and encouraging entrepreneurship.

The group is led by Professor Elfar Adalsteinsson and Professor Martha L. Gray

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Group

The RLE Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Group conducts investigations in medical imaging with MRI technology, focusing on optimal methods for acquisition, reconstruction and processing of in vivo imaging data. The group’s interests include techniques for efficient sampling and spatial encoding of spectroscopic magnetic resonance data, whereby small signals, originating, for example, specifically from neurons in the brain, yield information not observed with conventional structural imaging. Applications of these and related methods include a study of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and characterization of multiple sclerosis.

The group is led by Professor Elfar Adalsteinsson

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Micro/Nanofluidic BioMEMS Group

Our research applies microfabrication and nanofabrication methods to solve various scientific and technological problems. We currently focus on exploring the following areas: Micro/nanofluidics, Biomolecule and cell separation and detection, and Nanostructure-biomolecule interactions

Investigations:

Implantable Neurologic Dimmer Switch

Nanofluidic Biomolecule Concentration and Concentration-Enhanced Assays
Enhanced Enzyme Assay
Single Cell Proteomic Analysis

Continuous Biomolecule and Cell Separation
Deformability Cytometry Blood Separation and Filtration for Diagnosis and Therapy
Appropriate Water Desalination and Purification Technology

The group is led by Professor Jongyoon Han

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Multi-Scale Biomechanics and Biomedical Imaging Group

The group is led by Professor Martha L. Gray

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Retinal Implant Research Group

The major thrust of the RLE Retinal Implant Research Group is to develop a microelectronic retinal implant to restore vision to patients with age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The group’s implant design has unique features that improve its safety, function and performance. Efforts are currently underway to test the implant design. The group works closely with colleagues in Boston area hospitals.

The group is led by Professor John L. Wyatt

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Sensory Communication Group

The RLE Sensory Communication Group investigates topics in three broad areas: hearing aids, the tactile communication of speech, and auditory perception and cognition. The long term goal of the hearing aid research conducted in the group is to develop improved hearing aids for people suffering from sensorineural hearing impairments and cochlear implants for the deaf. Efforts are focused on problems resulting from inadequate knowledge of the effects of various transformations of speech signals on speech reception by impaired listeners, specifically on the fundamental limitations on the improvements in speech reception that can be achieved by processing speech. The long term goal of the tactile communication research conductedf by the group is to develop tactual aids for persons who are profoundly deaf or deaf-blind to serve as a substitute for hearing in the reception of speech and environmental sounds. This research can contribute to improved speech reception and production, language competence, and environmental-sound recognition in such individuals.

The group is led by Professor Louis D. Braida, Dr. Nathaniel I. Durlach, and Dr. Charlotte M. Reed

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Speech Communication Group

Speech is highly variable, especially in spontaneous conversation (words and sounds are acoustically very different in different contexts). The variation is systematic and predictable, and easily handled by human listeners, but presents a challenge for automatic speech recognition and for current models of human speech perception and production. Our objective is to integrate knowledge-based processing with statistical processing for speech analysis.

Our research uses knowledge of structure-driven variability to integrate knowledge-governed and statistical approaches. We extend signal processing methods to unify knowledge of acoustic, linguistic, physiological and cognitive models into a knowledge-based model of lexical access, and test the system as a model of human speech perception by determining its robustness to contextual variation and its breakdown in the same ways as human speech processing.

Investigations:

Acoustic Knowledge
Linguistic Knowledge
Cognitive Processing Constraints
Current Statistical Pattern Matching Methods

The group is led by Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

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Synthetic Biology Group

The Synthetic Biology Group examines ideas on how to engineer living systems to execute desired tasks. Among these are the use of biosystems to act as sensors, as factories for specialized molecules or weapons against detrimental molecules or organisms. Using top-notch bioengineering techniques, the Lu Lab aims to create solutions for human diseases (such as cancer or bacterial infections) as well as ways of remediating contaminated environments and creating real-time conveyors of biological state.

Investigations:

Engineer Phages to Infect and Destroy Pathogenic Bacteria
Design Phages for Bacterial Engineering
Cellular Engineering for Production of Biomaterials
Construction of Scalable Libraries for Antibiotic Discovery
Building Hybrid Analog-Digital Circuits with Biotechnological Applications
Cellular Engineering for Bioremediation
Development of Therapies as more Efficient Alternatives to Antibiotics

The group is led by Professor Timothy K. Lu

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Energy, Power, and Electromagnetics

ab initio Physics Group

Optical characteristics of structures with length scales smaller than the wavelength of light are dramatically different than those of macroscopic objects. Such subwavelength devices, called photonic crystals, can be tailored to exhibit rich optical properties. In our group, we design, fabricate, and characterize photonic crystals for various applications from enhanced lasing to energy harvesting. The unique properties of optical nano-structured materials have already enabled a wide range of very important applications (e.g. in medicine, energy , telecommunications , defense, etc.) and are expected to do even more so in the future. We are also interested in various non-linear nano-optical phenomena, as well as light-matter interaction in plasmonic systems. Our aim is to tackle problems both theoretically and experimentally, from developing novel theoretical tools to pioneering advanced nanofabrication techniques.

Investigations:

Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystals
Photonic Crystal Enhanced Fluorescence
Spatio-Temporal Theory of THz Lasing
Thermophotovoltaic Energy Harvesting
Graphene Plasmonics

The group is led by Professor John D. Joannopoulos and Professor Marin Soljacic

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Electrochemical Energy Group

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Professor Shao-Horn and her group probe the underlying molecular-level mechanisms of catalytic and charge transfer reactions, and ion/electron transport and examine the impact of these mechanisms on performance in electrochemical energy devices, including in lithium-ion batteries, lithium-air batteries, PEM fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells. Her recent research is centered on understanding the electronic structures of surfaces/interfaces, searching for descriptors of surface reactivity, catalytic activity and charge transfer processes, and applying fundamental understanding to design surfaces for electrocatalysis and for electrochemical energy storage.

The group is led by Professor Yang Shao-Horn.

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Organic and Nanostructured Electronics

We are large-area nanotechnologists developing practical devices and structures from physical insights discovered at the nanoscale. Our work demonstrates that nanoscale materials such as molecules, polymers, and nanocrystal quantum dots can be assembled into large area functional optoelectronic devices that surpass the performance of today’s state-of-the-art. We combine insights into physical processes within nanostructured devices, with advances in thin film processing of nanostructured material sets, to launch new technologies and glimpse into the polaron and exciton dynamics that govern the nanoscale.

Investigations:

Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes (QDLEDs)
Field Driven Electroluminescence

Quantum Dot Photovoltaics (QDPVs)
Ligand Exchange in PbS QDs
ZnO Nanowire QDPVs
Engineering energy barriers

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Contact Printed Gold Membrane
Squeezable Switch (Squish)

Organic Photvoltaics (OPVs)
Multijunction Organic PV
Organic PV on paper substrates

J-Aggregates and Optical Devices
J-Aggregate Photo-detector
Fluorescence Enhancement

The group is led by Professor Marc A. Baldo and Professor Vladimir Bulovic

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Nanoscale Materials, Devices and Systems

Electrochemical Energy Group

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Professor Shao-Horn and her group probe the underlying molecular-level mechanisms of catalytic and charge transfer reactions, and ion/electron transport and examine the impact of these mechanisms on performance in electrochemical energy devices, including in lithium-ion batteries, lithium-air batteries, PEM fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells. Her recent research is centered on understanding the electronic structures of surfaces/interfaces, searching for descriptors of surface reactivity, catalytic activity and charge transfer processes, and applying fundamental understanding to design surfaces for electrocatalysis and for electrochemical energy storage.

The group is led by Professor Yang Shao-Horn.

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Nano-Materials and Electronics Group

Over the past several decades, semiconductor devices have scaled exponentially and the demand for clean, affordable energy has risen dramatically. However, it is becoming more and more evident that conventional materials such as Silicon are being pushed to their limits. Thus, there is an emerging need for new materials and technologies to follow in Silcon’s footsteps so we can continue fostering this growth. Our group specializes in the synthesis of two-dimensional and other novel nano-materials and their applications to real-world problems.

Investigations:

Graphene-BN Heterostructures
Synthesis of MX2 Monolayers
Graphene Devices with BN Dielectric
Zinc Oxide-Graphene Photovoltaics
Synthesis of Bilayers on Copper Enclosures
Graphene-Based Photodetectors
Direct Transfer of Graphene onto Flexible Substrates

The group is led by Professor Jing Kong

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NanoStructures Laboratory

The RLE Nanostructures Laboratory (NSL) develops techniques for fabricating surface structures with feature sizes in the range from nanometers to micrometers, and uses these structures in a variety of research projects. The NSL includes facilities for lithography (photo, interferometric, electron-beam, imprint, and x-ray), etching (chemical, plasma and reactive-ion), liftoff, electroplating, sputter deposition, and e-beam evaporation. Much of the equipment, and nearly all of the methods, utilized in the NSL are developed in house. The research projects within the NSL falls into three major categories: development of nanostructure fabrication technology; nanomagnetics, microphotonics and templated self assembly; periodic structures for x-ray optics, spectroscopy, atomic interferometry and nanometer metrology.

The group is led by Professor Henry I. Smith and Professor Karl K. Berggren. The NanoStructures Laboratory Director is Karl K. Berggren.

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Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication Group

Nanofabrication, and nanolithography in particular, are the cornerstones of the modern microelectronics industry, and are integral to the future of nanotechnology as a whole. We are investigating fundamental challenges associated with continued scaling of electronic and nano-photonic device components, and are exploring the resolution limits of charged-particle lithography, including electron-beam and ion-beam lithography. The group also actively investigates the use of nanostructure arrays fabricated by nanolithography, as templates for: self-assembly of block copolymers, placement control of biomolecules or quantum dots and as sources for the production of coherent electron pulses. Continued scaling of devices toward molecular dimensions continues to unearth fascinating physical phenomena, which are of fundamental scientific interest as well as being critical to the development of future applications.

In addition, we are developing the ultimate light detection technologies characterized by high-sensitivity, broad spectral range, fast reset time and high-timing certainty. Resolving the information hidden in a light signal is essential for a broad range of applications, such as communication, quantum computation, microscopy and spectroscopy, as well as for optical, and thermal imaging systems.We initiate, design, model, fabricate, characterize and utilize single photon detectors that are based on superconducting nanowires (SNSPDs). We are doing so by integrating cutting-edge nano-fabrication capabilities with nano-optics and thermoelectric approaches, and we employ low-temperature, ultra-fast and high-sensitivity optical and electrical characterization methods and tools.

Investigations:

Ultrafast Optically Stimulated Electron Emitter Arrays
Nanometer Length-Scale Templated Self-Assembly of Proteins
Charged-particle beam lithography towards the atomic scale
Templated Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers in Single and Bilayer Block Copolymer Films
Nano fabrication for highest sensitivity and timing resolution
Nanowire single photon array
Free-space coupling for real applications
Nano optics for enhanced performances

The group is led by Professor Karl K. Berggren

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Quantum Photonics Group

dirk_englund_quantum_photonicsThe Quantum Photonics Group studies Quantum Optics, Nanophotonics, and Metrology. Current research projects include:

  • Quantum Silicon Photonics for unconditionally secure communication and other quantum technologies
  • Quantum-Enhanced Detectors for real-time imaging of neural activity in the brain; solid-state atomic clocks
  • Classical and quantum information processing devices and systems
  • Solar Photovoltaics: how to harvest nearly all sunlight with just 30 nm of active material

The group is led by Professor Dirk R. Englund

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Photonic Materials, Devices and Systems

Biomedical Optical Imaging and Biophotonics Group

The RLE Biomedical Optical Imaging and Biophotonics Group and its close collaborators were the originators of optical coherence tomography (OCT), a diagnostic technology now used in a growing number of medical fields. The group currently works to further understand and exploit the capabilities of OCT technology, with ongoing investigations in topics related to optical coherence microscopy development and optical biopsy using OCT.

The group is led by Professor James G. Fujimoto

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Energy Production and Conversion Group

The Energy Production and Conversion Group investigates issues in two topical areas. The first relates to nearly-isentropic energy conversion with quantum excitation transfer, the other is in few-body nuclear wavefunctions.

The group is led by Professor Peter L. Hagelstein

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Fibers@mit.edu

Fibers are among the earliest forms of human expression, yet surprisingly have remained unchanged from ancient to modern times. Can fibers become highly functional devices ? Can they see, hear, sense, and communicate? Our research focuses on extending the frontiers of fiber materials from optical transmission to encompass electronic and even acoustic properties.

Central to our approach is the combination of a multiplicity solid state materials which can be thermally co-drawn into elaborate cross sectional structures with features down to 10 nanometers. Two complementary approaches towards realizing sophisticated functions are explored: on the single-fiber level, the integration of a multiplicity of functional components into one fiber, and on the multiple-fiber level, the assembly of large-scale fiber arrays and fabrics.

Investigations:

Multimaterial Photonic Bandgap Fibers
Electronic and Optoelectronic Fiber Devices
Optofluidic Fiber Devices
Acoustic Fibers
Fibers for Energy Storage
Fiber-Neuron Interface
Fiber-Draw Compound Synthesis
High-Temperature Fabrication and Post-Processing

The group is led by Professor Yoel Fink

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Integrated Photonic Devices and Materials Group

The objective of our research is to create and develop advanced and future technologies that create, manipulate and utilize photons. To achieve this objective, state-of-the-art deposition techniques are utilized to create new materials and layered structures monolayer-by-monolayer. In addition new devices, structures, and components are designed and fabricated to manipulate light, and discrete photonic components are monolithically integrated to create photonic integrated circuits.

Investigation:

Long Wavelength Devices
Components for Ultra-Short Pulse Lasers
Doped Oxides for Integrated Silicon Photonics

The group is led by Professor Leslie A. Kolodziejski and Dr. Gale S. Petrich

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Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Devices Group

The RLE Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Devices Group develops novel devices operating from millimeter-wave to THz frequencies, and explores system-level applications enabled by those devices. Specifically, the group is working on high-performance THz quantum cascade lasers based on intersubband transitions in quantum wells; ultrafast time– and phase-resolved study of dynamics in quantum structures; sensing and real-time imaging THz systems for a variety of applications including remote sensing, biomedical imaging, and security.

Investigations:

High-performance THz quantum-cascade lasers
Novel emitters with high beam qualities
Tunable THz wire lasers
Real-time THz imaging
Time-domain study (TDS) of THz quantum structures
MEMS-based arrays of millimeter receivers

The group is led by Professor Qing Hu

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Nanostructures and Computation Group

The RLE Nanostructures and Computation Group pursues investigations in two primary areas. The first is work on photonic crystals and electromagnetism in structured media. This is work is conducted in close collaboration with the RLE ab initio Physics Group. The second primary area of investigations are in high-performance computation, from fast Fourier transforms to large-scale eigensolvers for numerical electromagnetism.

The group is led by Professor Steven G. Johnson

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Optics and Quantum Electronics Group

Our research group has several main areas of exploration, including ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy, electronic-photonic integrated circuits, integrated fiber lasers at GHz repetition rate, and femtosecond frequency combs and applications. Currently the group’s main focus is on devices operating at optical C-band range (1530-1565nm). The group has expertise in designing and testing Saturable Bragg Reflectors (SBRs); integrated GHz repetition rate mode-locked fiber lasers with femtosecond pulse-widths; single and multi-channel add-drop microring resonator filterbanks, photonic crystal microcavities, optical switches, and various advanced microphotonic systems. In addition, the group has extensive expertise in time-resolved ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy, and its application in nonlinear optical characterization, as well as for studies of carrier dynamics in semiconductors.

Investigations:

GHz Repetition Rate Femtosecond Fiber Lasers
Time-Resolved Nonlinear Spectroscopy
Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits

The group is led by Professor James G. Fujimoto, Dr. Kyung-Han Hong, Professor Erich P. Ippen, and Professor Franz X. Kaertner

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Organic and Nanostructured Electronics

We are large-area nanotechnologists developing practical devices and structures from physical insights discovered at the nanoscale. Our work demonstrates that nanoscale materials such as molecules, polymers, and nanocrystal quantum dots can be assembled into large area functional optoelectronic devices that surpass the performance of today’s state-of-the-art. We combine insights into physical processes within nanostructured devices, with advances in thin film processing of nanostructured material sets, to launch new technologies and glimpse into the polaron and exciton dynamics that govern the nanoscale.

Investigations:

Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes (QDLEDs)
Field Driven Electroluminescence

Quantum Dot Photovoltaics (QDPVs)
Ligand Exchange in PbS QDs
ZnO Nanowire QDPVs
Engineering energy barriers

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Contact Printed Gold Membrane
Squeezable Switch (Squish)

Organic Photvoltaics (OPVs)
Multijunction Organic PV
Organic PV on paper substrates

J-Aggregates and Optical Devices
J-Aggregate Photo-detector
Fluorescence Enhancement

The group is led by Professor Marc A. Baldo and Professor Vladimir Bulovic

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Photonic Microsystems Group

The Photonic Microystems Group develops microphotonic elements, circuits, and systems for a variety of applications, including communications, sensing, and coupled microwave-photonic circuits, often enabling fundamental advantages over traditional implementations. Microphotonic devices are combined to form large-scale circuits and systems such as low power inter-chip networks, thermal imagers, nanophotonic phased-arrays for high-speed beam-steering, and optical-microwave oscillators for precision timing.

Investigations:

Microphotonic Elements
Microphotonic Sensor Systems
Microphotonic Intra– and Inter-Chip Communications Networks
Coupled Optical-Microwave Microphotonic Systems and Circuits

The group is led by Professor Michael R. Watts

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Physical Optics and Electronics Group

The RLE Physical Optics and Electronics Group pursues investigations in two major thrusts. The first is in integrated photonics, the second is in electron transport in semiconductors. Current work includes research on high index contrast waveguides, magneto-optical devices, lateral bandgap engineering, quantum dot devices, active thermoelectric devices, hot electron transport in high mobility devices, direct thermal to electrical energy conversion, and scanning probe microscopy.

The group is led by Professor Rajeev J. Ram

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Quantum Optics and Photonics Group

The RLE Quantum Optics and Photonics Group investigates atom-field interaction, high resolution laser spectroscopy, optical frequency/wavelength/time standards, laser frequency stabilization, and sensors, such as those for the measurement of inertial rotation (gyroscopes), high magnetic fields, precision voltages and currents, and various molecular species.

The group is led by Professor Shaoul Ezekiel

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RLE Center for Excitonics

The mission of the Center for Excitonics is to develop the science and technology of excitons, to reveal the fundamental characteristics of these crucial quasi-particles, and enable new solar cells and lighting technologies.

The group is led by Professor Marc A. Baldo, Professor Karl K. Berggren, and Professor Troy Van Voorhis

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Soft Semiconductor Group

The Soft Semiconductor Group seeks to exploit the remarkable diversity of soft semiconductors — molecular materials held together by weak van der Waals bonds. In contrast with the painstaking growth requirements of conventional semiconductors, soft semiconductors can be readily and inexpensively deposited on a variety of materials at room temperature.

We focus on two areas: organic light emitting devices, and low cost solar cells. We also have a growing interest in low energy switches.

Investigations:

Singlet Exciton Fission
Solar Concentrators
Magnetic Logic
Integrated Organic Electronics

The group is led by Professor Marc A. Baldo

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Quantum Computation and Communication

Optical and Quantum Communications Group

Quantum superposition and quantum entanglement are the bedrock on which new paradigms for information transmission, storage, and processing are being built. The preeminent obstacle to the development of quantum information technology is the difficulty of transmitting quantum information over noisy and lossy quantum communication channels, recovering and refreshing the quantum information that is received, and then storing it in a reliable quantum memory. The Optical and Quantum Communications group specializes in utilizing the quantum properties of light to improve information technologies, with a focus on communications, imaging, and computation. Our work is driven by a close, synergetic collaboration between theory and experiments.

Investigations:

Communication
High Dimensional Quantum Key Distribution
High-Efficiency Free-Space Optical Communication

Imaging
Quantum Illumination
Computational Ghost Imaging

Computation and Quantum Source
Cross-Phase Modulation (XPM) for Optical Quantum Logic Gates
Quantum State Engineering
Sources of Polarization-Entangled Light

The group is led by Professor Jeffrey H. Shapiro and Dr. Franco N.G. Wong

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Quanta Research Group

Quantum computers are constructed using completely different building blocks from electronic computers. In our lab, we investigate the possibility of constructing quantum computers with single ions i.e. charged atoms, which can be precisely controlled and manipulated with electromagnetic fields, and laser light. We build computers from single atomic ions, one at a time, held by oscillating electromagnetic fields above the surface of microfabricated chips. These atoms can serve as quantum bits, both for new models of information processing, and as exquisite sensors for observing new physics.

Investigations:

Micro-cavity experiment integrating an ion trap with an optical cavity
Cryogenic ion trap experiment investigating fundamental obstacles to the scalability of ion traps for quantum computation
Polar molecules experiment with a goal of creating a quantum interface between trapped ion qubits and superconducting qubits

The group is led by Professor Isaac L. Chuang

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Quantum Engineering Group

Our group studies quantum dynamics and control in spin systems, with applications in quantum information and precision measurement. We develop novel experimental and theoretical techniques for robust quantum control, investigate methods for ultra-sensitive quantum metrology with single spin sensors, and design building blocks and communication protocols for quantum information processing in distributed architectures

Investigations:

Control of Individual Electronic Spins & Nuclear Spins in Quasi-1D Crystals
NV Center–Based Quantum Magnetometer
Spin Gyroscope in Diamond
Quantum Information Transport
Quantum Control & Noise Characterization

The group is led by Professor Paola Cappellaro

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Quantum Information Group

The RLE Quantum Information Group conducts investigations in two major thrusts. The first is in quantum information, with research in the design of quantum computer and quantum communication systems, as well as work in quantum algorithms, theory of quantum information, and quantum control theory. The second is in complex systems, including problems of complexity in engineering and in measures of complexity.

The group is led by Professor Seth Lloyd

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Superconducting Circuits and Quantum Computing Group

The RLE Superconducting Circuits and Quantum Computing Group conducts research in two primary areas. The first is quantum computation, where efforts involve the fabrication and measurement of the persistent current qubit. The other primary area of research is in nonlinear dynamics, where the group uses superconducting circuits as model systems for certain types of nonlinear phenomena.

The group is led by Professor Terry P. Orlando

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