From EE Undergraduate Independent Work
Much of the work in my lab is centered on figuring out how to build a quantum computer. We have a variety of projects, ranging from more EE-like to more physics-like. For example:
- Designing and testing cryogenic silicon circuits. The quantum computers we are building will operate very close to absolute zero. We need regular silicon chips to work at these temperatures. We design specialized CMOS circuits, which we then need to measure, and we also test regular commercial CMOS chips to see which ones can be made to work at low temperature. If someone wants to get involved in designing and laying out circuits, it would be best to have taken ELE462.
- Automating experiments and data acquisition. Lots of times we need to take a bunch of data or upload complicated instructions to instruments. Some of these projects are mostly software (we use Matlab to run some of the equipment), and some are a combination of software and hardware. Recently we used a Raspberry Pi (small single-board Linux computer) for automating a measurement, which worked well, and we plan to keep playing with the Pi's, or similar single-board computers like BeagleBones.
- Simulating electron transport on superfluid helium. One of the approaches we are taking to building the quantum computer uses electrons "floating" on the surface of superfluid helium. As part of that we have been developing programs (combination of Python and C) to simulate their motion as we change the voltages on gate electrodes. Projects in this area would mostly be programming, though a thesis project could involve both programming and experiments on electron motion.
- Low-noise and precision circuits. We need to measure very small signals (for example, sensing the charge of individual electrons), and must control voltages with very high precision. We need to design and build circuits to do this, and then control them with an FPGA or single-board computer.
- Designing and building new resonators for Electron Spin Resonance experiments. Electron spin resonance is one of the ways we measure the "quantum bits" we might use in the quantum computer. These experiments use microwave resonators, and we want to develop new ones, both large "bulk" resonators(~ few inches) and superconducting micro-resonators. For example, we want to make resonators which allow us to excite our samples with circularly-polarized microwaves.
- Interesting electronics and computer control projects. I like to experiment with electronics and controlling things with small computers. If you have an interesting idea you want to try, we should talk and I might be able to act as your advisor.