Electrical and computer engineering professor receives National Science Foundation grant for his work on rapid assembly and enhancement of single photon sources.

Nathaniel Kinsey, Ph.D., has been awarded a grant for his research into nanophotonics, the study of light with materials at the nanoscale.

Nathaniel Kinsey, Ph.D.
Nathaniel Kinsey, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Nathaniel Kinsey, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a $500,000 grant over the next three years for his project titled, “On-Chip Nanoscale Trap and Enhance Device (NOTED) for Quantum Photonics.”

“Quantum technologies are poised to usher in new capabilities for secure data communication, advanced computing and improved sensing,” Kinsey said.

Quantum technology relies heavily on the properties of photons for the transfer of quantum information. However, current techniques for producing these essential quantum particles face great limitations, such as random and poor rates of photon production. These issues limit the usability of quantum processing technologies which, in Kinsey’s case, impact the power of computer processing.

Kinsey’s research is trying to make these particles in a more predictable and efficient manner, to enhance the power.

Kinsey’s innovative research promises a powerful means for long-range, precise and strong optical manipulation on a computer chip, with potential applications across a range of quantum technologies.

This grant will fund Kinsey’s research into developing a device capable of quickly assembling and enhancing the rate of single photon production directly on a computer chip. In addition, it will provide insight into the improvement of quantum optical emitters and develop resources for training a new generation of quantum optical scientists.

Kinsey noted the collaboration with Justus Ndukaife, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University, who played an integral role in securing this grant.

“This grant will enable us to pursue groundbreaking research in quantum technologies, but also allow our team to build strong collaborations with Vanderbilt, the team of Ndukaife and support the development of simulation applications for undergraduate and graduate electromagnetics sources,” said Kinsey.