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Northwestern is key partner in $115 million national center to build revolutionary quantum computer

Fermilab-led initiative — one of just five elite National Quantum Initiative centers funded by the DOE — includes an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern faculty

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has been selected to lead one of five national centers to bring about transformational advances in quantum information science (QIS) as a part of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative (NQI), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation and DOE announced today (Aug. 26). Northwestern University is a major partner in the new center.

The initiative provides the new Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS)with a planned $115 million from the DOE over five years with the goal of building and deploying a beyond-state-of-the-art quantum computer based on superconducting technologies. The research will focus on breakthroughs important for medicine, life sciences, national security and more. The center also will develop new quantum sensors that could lead to the discovery of the nature of dark matter and other elusive subatomic particles.

Anna Grassellino of Fermilab, who also has a joint appointment at Northwestern as a faculty member in the department of physics and astronomy, will be the center’s director. James Sauls, professor of physics at Northwestern, will be the center’s deputy director.

Seventeen Northwestern faculty members with deep expertise in quantum science are affiliated with the center. They have interdisciplinary knowledge in areas vital for advancing quantum science, including atomic and optical physics, materials science, data science, superconducting technologies and theoretical physics.

“The breadth of the SQMS physics, materials science, device fabrication and characterization technology combined with our expertise in large-scale integration capabilities is unprecedented for superconducting quantum science and technology,” said Sauls, who serves on the executive committee of the University’s quantum information research and engineering initiative (INQUIRE). “As part of the network of National Quantum Initiative centers, SQMS will contribute to U.S. leadership in quantum science for years to come.”

Read more at Northwestern Now


Northwestern faculty involved with the SQMS Center

Physics and Astronomy:

Venkat Chandrasekhar        SQMS Quantum Materials and Devices Focus Areas

Michelle Driscoll                   SQMS Quantum Workforce development Focus Area lead

Gerald Gabrielse                  SQMS Quantum Sensing Focus Area co-lead

Andrew Geraci                      SQMS Quantum Sensing Focus Area

Tim Kovachy                          SQMS Quantum Sensing Focus Area

William Halperin                   SQMS Quantum Materials and Devices Focus Area

Jens Koch                              SQMS Quantum Devices Focus Area co-lead

James Sauls                          SQMS Deputy Director, NU PI and co-Director CAPST

Materials Science:

Peter Voorhees                   SQMS Quantum Materials Focus Area

David Seidman                    SQMS Quantum Materials Focus Area

Mark Hersam                       SQMS Quantum Materials Focus Area co-lead

Michael Bedzyk                   SQMS Quantum Materials Focus Area

Vinayak Dravid                    SQMS Quantum Materials Focus Area

James Rondinelli                 SQMS Quantum Materials Focus Area

Electrical and Computer Engineering:

Matthew Grayson                SQMS Quantum Devices Focus Area

Prem Kumar                         SQMS Quantum Devices Focus Area  (joint in Physics)

Selim Shahriar                      SQMS Quantum Devices Focus Area  (joint in Physics)

Fermi National Laboratory Joint with Northwestern:

Anna Grassellino                 SQMS Center Director & PI, Co-Director CAPST with a faculty appointment in Physics

Alex Romanenko                 SQMS Quantum Technology Thrust Lead, CAPST with a faculty appointment in Physics