Nicholas A Peters

Section Head & Distinguished Research and Development Staff in The Quantum Information Science Section

Nicholas A. Peters received the B.A. degree summa cum laude in physics and mathematics from Hillsdale College, in 2000 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in 2002 and 2006, respectively. 

In  2006, he joined Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bell Communications Research - Bellcore) as a Senior Research Scientist, which later became Applied Communication Sciences (ACS).  In 2012, he was promoted to Senior Scientist at ACS.  In 2015, he joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) as Senior Research and Development Staff Member and strategic hire.  From 2016-2021, he was appointed Joint Faculty Assistant Professor to The Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  In 2017, he was appointed to lead ORNL's quantum communications team.  In 2019, he became the Group Leader for ORNL's Quantum Information Science Group.  In 2021, he was promoted to Distinguished Research and Development Staff and later that year, inaugural Section Head of the Quantum Information Science Section.  He has been a visiting researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology-Boulder, The Ohio State University, and Princeton University.  

He is a Member of The American Physical Society (APS) a Senior Member of Optica (formerly OSA) and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  He is an active referee, primarily for APS journals, and has served as an Associate Editor for Optics Express since June 2016.


• American Physical Society Outstanding Referee, 2022.
• Director’s Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment in Science and Technology, UT-Battelle Awards Night, 2021.
• R&D100 Award, 2021.
• Outstanding Scholarly Output Team Award, UT-Battelle Awards Night, 2021.
• Technology Commercialization Award, 2020.
• Outstanding Scholarly Output Team Award, UT-Battelle Awards Night, 2020.
• Technology Commercialization Award, 2019.
• Technology Commercialization Award, 2017.
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory Significant Event Award for “First technology license of quantum information technology at ORNL,” 2017.
• Applied Communication Sciences CEO Award, 2013.
• National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation, 2013.
• Selected as one of 78 of approximately 300 invited to apply to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 18th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium, 2012.
• Winner of 2012 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in Emerging Technology for US Patent# 8,103,172 “Distributable quantum relay architecture,” by N. A. Peters, T. C. Chapuran, R. Runser and M. S. Goodman. This is only the third Edison award in the 30+ year history of Bellcore/Telcordia/Applied Communications Sciences.
• Telcordia CEO Team Award for “Strengthening the Business,” 2010.
• Scott Anderson Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for fall semester, 2005.
• Shared third place for “technological innovation” in Amazing Light: Visions for Discovery Young Scholars Competition, 2005.
• GAANN Fellowship, University of Illinois, 2000-2001.
• Outstanding Physics Senior Award–top graduating physics major, Hillsdale College, 2000.
• Taylor Mathematics Prize–top graduating mathematics major, Hillsdale College, 2000.
• Departmental Award in Computer Science–top graduating CS minor, Hillsdale College, 2000.
• Sigma Zeta Honor Award–for academic achievement in the sciences, Hillsdale College, 2000.
• Eagle Scout, 1994.


14. J. M. Lukens, R. C. Pooser, and N. A. Peters, “Gain balanced nonlinear optical interferometer,” US Patent # 10,725,360 (issued 07/28/2020).
13. J. M. Lukens, N. A. Peters and R. C. Pooser, “Nonlinear interferometer systems and methods,” US Patent # 10,605,727 (issued 03/31/2020).
12. W. P. Grice, J. M. Lukens and N. A. Peters, “Deterministic Single-Photon Source based on Spectral Shift of a Heralded Photon,” US Patent # 10,175,554 (issued 01/08/2019).
11. J. Dailey, A. Agarwal, P. Toliver, C. McKinstrie, N. Peters, “Devices and methods for converting terahetrz signals into optical signals,” US Patent Application # 10,050,720 (issued 08/14/2018).
10. J. Dailey, A. Agarwal, P. Toliver, N. Peters, “System for continuously active stabilization of interferometers in quantum time-bin entanglement distribution,” US Patent # 9,954,623 (issued 04/24/2018).
9. J. Dailey, A. Agarwal, P. Toliver, N. Peters, “Quantum communications of a two-qubit quantum state,” US Patent # 9,735,890 (issued 08/15/2017).
8. J. Dailey, A. Agarwal, P. Toliver, C. McKinstrie, N. Peters, “Terahertz signal processor and detector,” US Patent # 9,698,915 (issued 07/04/2017).
7. N. A. Peters, A. Agrawal, and P. Toliver, “Method to mitigate propagation loss in waveguide transmission of quantum states,” US Patent # 9,294,191 (issued 03/22/2016).
6. J. Madey, E. Szarmes, P. K. Lam, S. Etemad, N. Peters, and Z. Jia, “Single photon source,” US Patent # 9,100,131 (issued 08/04/2015).
5. T. Woodward, A. Agarwal, and N. Peters, “System and method for nonlinear optical devices,” an optical sensor, US Patent # 9,002,151 (issued 04/07/2015).
4. T. Woodward, A. Agarwal, and N. Peters, “System and method for nonlinear optical devices,” a LIDAR system, US Patent # 9,000,354 (issued 04/07/2015).
3. T. Woodward, A. Agarwal, and N. Peters, “System and method for nonlinear optical devices,” a multi-step frequency conversion system, US Patent # 9,000,347 (issued 04/07/2015).
2. N. A. Peters and T. E. Chapuran,“High-Probability Heralded Single-Photon Source,” US Patent # 8,536,508 (issued 09/17/2013).
1. N. A. Peters, T. E. Chapuran, R. J. Runser, and M. S. Goodman, “A Distributable Quantum Relay Architecture,” US Patent # 8,103,172 (issued 01/24/2012).