Nam named an Associate of the Center for Advanced Study
The Center for Advanced Study (CAS) was established in 1959 and since has consistently provided support, connections, and funding to creative, barrier-breaking academics from all corners of the Illinois campus. MechSE Associate Professor SungWoo Nam has been named an Associate of the center for his research on single quantum (or photon) emitters using wrinkled two-dimensional semiconductors.
Nam and his research group have been working on studying the single photon emitters for a few years now, with support from the Air Force. A single photon emitter resembles an LED if it were only to emit one photon with specific optical properties at a time. The technology has interesting implications for the development of quantum information processing.
Typically, the single photon emitters are made through creating localized states, such as defects in a material. With this method, there is progress being made, but scientists have found it extremely difficult to make a deterministic single photon emission. Nam’s research is working to develop single photon emitters using elastic strain in wrinkled two-dimensional semiconductors instead of defects with the hope to create more robust and deterministic quantum emitters.
“Our idea is to use strain induced by elastic deformation based on the principles of mechanics that we know well,” Nam said. “The question is, how do we do it well, and how do we do it so that it’s scalable? How do we control it to a degree that's pure or better than conventional approaches? That will be my focus during this time.”
Affiliation with the CAS allows Nam relief from teaching for a semester. This gives him freedom to work off campus and spend more time with his collaborators at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Although these incentives were what motivated Nam to apply for CAS associateship, the prestigious organization has many collaborative opportunities that Nam will also get to take part in.
“It's a great honor to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to events within the community,” Nam said. “I look forward to learning about other disciplines, as it gives me an opportunity to see things way beyond what I'm comfortable with.”