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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Aspen Center for Physics: How to Build a Better Qubit with Nathalie de Leon

David Kelly Crow

This event was recorded on February 28, 2024 at Aspen Center for Physics during the 2024 DeWolf Foundation Physics Talks, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionize computing, communication, and sensing, but in order to use quantum information, we must store it for long periods of time and protect it from noise. Essentially all quantum hardware suffers from noise and loss, often arising from imperfections in the constituent materials. Understanding (and ultimately eliminating) these sources of noise is tricky business—the quantum bit (qubit) is often the most sensitive object, but merely measuring the qubit yields little information about the culprit responsible for noise. Tackling these problems requires a multidisciplinary approach that blends quantum measurement with materials science. Nathalie describes recent efforts to achieve major improvements in two different qubit platforms: nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond and superconducting circuits.

About Nathalie de Leon

Nathalie de Leon is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Princeton University. She received her BS at Stanford University in 2004 and her PhD from Harvard Univeristy in 2011.

She has received honors and awards including the APS Rolf Landauer and Charles H. Bennett Award in Quantum Computing, DOE Early Career Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, NSF CAREER Award, and more.

Her research interests include building quantum hardware with color centers in wide bandgap materials, such as NV centers in diamond. Optics and photonics, surface science and materials engineering, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, nanofabrication, and cryogenics.