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Students, postdocs present research at Quantum Science Center’s inaugural poster session

Event chair Alexander Senichev (top right) facilitated discussions among the various groups at the session, who provided potential solutions to many quantum science and technology challenges. Credit: Alexander Senichev/Purdue University

Poster session
The poster session gave the next generation of quantum experts a platform to showcase their contributions to the Quantum Science Center’s wide-ranging research portfolio. Credit: Yun-Yi Pai/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Members of the Quantum Science Center, or QSC, located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory hosted the Center’s first poster session in early March. The Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Association, or PGA, which plays a key role in the QSC’s ongoing workforce development efforts, organized and facilitated the virtual event to help foster the professional growth of early-career quantum researchers and engineers.

Throughout the session, QSC graduate students and postdoctoral associates from numerous national laboratories and universities presented recent work and notable research results involving topics of interest to the quantum community, from materials science to machine learning algorithms. Participants also exchanged ideas and networked with peers, mentors and potential collaborators affiliated with government, academia and industry.

“The judges agreed that all of the posters were top caliber and that all the authors deserve recognition for their excellent work,” said Event Chair Alexander Senichev.

The 15 lead authors represented ORNL; DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory; Purdue University; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Colorado Boulder; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and JILA, a joint institute between CU Boulder and NIST. QSC members from many of the same organizations and DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory attended the session to support and encourage the entrants. Additionally, members of the QSC’s Industry Advisory Council from AMD and JP Morgan Chase served as judges.

Following a virtual tour of the room, interactions with the authors and extensive deliberation, the volunteer judges and QSC leaders selected three winners from the competitive field: Samudra Dasgupta of UT Knoxville’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education and Avinash Rustagi and Xiaohui Xu of Purdue. The winners received certificates to commemorate their achievement and will also have the opportunity to explain their work to a larger audience at a QSC all-hands meeting.

Poster session
ORNL postdoc Claire Marvinney (top right) “walked” through the virtual hallway to view poster displays and talk with the competitors. Credit: Claire Marvinney/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

“A lot of great research was presented during the session and, as is typical with such a broad and enjoyable event, coming to a decision was not easy,” said QSC Director David Dean.

While presenting a poster titled “Characterizing the Stability of Noisy Quantum Devices,” Dasgupta described quantum device measurements that underscored the limited parameters required to obtain reliable and reproducible results from these systems. Rustagi’s poster, “Quantum Impurity Relaxometry of Magnons in Thin Films: Role of Chirality,” focused on the benefits of a technique used to examine magnetic materials and other condensed matter systems. In “Enhancing Quantum Emission by Optical Modification of Plasmonic Cavity-Antenna Nanostructures,” Xu discussed a type of single photon source that works efficiently at room temperature.

The QSC is one of five DOE Quantum Information Science Research Centers launched in 2020 and funded by the DOE Office of Science. Having launched the poster session online, the PGA organizing committee — Alexander Senichev, Xiaohui Xu, Zach Martin, Kiran Dixit and Demid Sychev from Purdue and Claire Marvinney, Yun-Yi Pai and Paul Kairys from ORNL — plans to host future installments of the event in person to build on the professional relationships established this year among QSC leadership, judges, participants and attendees.

UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit— Elizabeth Rosenthal