Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Stephen A. Lyon

Professor of Electrical Engineering

Room: B428 Engineering Quadrangle
Phone: 609-258-4635
Webpage: Lyon Lab


  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1979
  • M.S., Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, 1978
  • B.S., Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 1974

The tremendous progress by process engineers, semiconductor device physicists, and circuit designers in making better chips is the foundation upon which the computer revolution of the last decades has been built. The complexity of chips has been doubling every eighteen months, and their speed has been increasing by a factor of ten every five years. A key ingredient in this progress has been a deeper understanding of the physics of the materials and devices. The goal of my research is to advance the physical foundations of devices and develop new kinds of devices. As devices have been made smaller, quantum effects have become important. These effects already influence the operation of commercial devices. We are investigating new device designs, which will take advantage of quantum mechanical processes to provide a route to further device scaling and performance improvements. For example, “quantum dots” – a few hundred or thousand molecules of one material embedded in another – exhibit a range of useful properties for new types of semiconductor emitters and detectors. An important component of our research is directed towards developing fully quantum-coherent devices as needed for quantum information processing. While quantum computation theoretically provides revolutionary advances, the physical realization will be exceptionally challenging. Our major emphasis has been on demonstrating ways to use the spin of an electron as a quantum bit (qubit). For example, we have found that the quantum coherence of electron’s spins in a silicon crystal can be preserved for almost a second, two or three orders of magnitude larger than has been measured in other materials.

Honors and Awards

  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award
  • Walter C. Johnson award for teaching excellence, Electrical Engineering, Princeton (1997)

Selected Publications

  1. D. Wasserman, T. Ribaudo, S.A. Lyon, S.K. Lyo, and E.A. Shaner, “Room temperature midinfrared electroluminescence from InAs quantum dots,” App. Phys. Lett. 94, 6 (2009).

  2. G. Sabouret, F.R. Bradbury, S. Shankar, J.A. Bert, S.A. Lyon, “Signal and charge transfer efficiency of few electrons clocked on microscopic superfluid helium channels,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 082104 (2008).

  3. E. Chi, S. A. Lyon, and M. Martonosi, "Deterministic error model for quantum computer simulation," Physical Review A 77, 6 (2008).

  4. J. J. L. Morton, A. M. Tyryshkin, R. M. Brown, S. Shankar, B. W. Lovett, A. Ardavan, T. Schenkel, E. E. Haller, J. W. Ager, and S. A. Lyon, "Solid-state quantum memory using the P-31 nuclear spin," Nature 455, 1085 (2008).

  5. C. C. Lo, J. Bokor, T. Schenkel, A. M. Tyryshkin, S. A. Lyon, and J. He, "Spin-dependent scattering off neutral antimony donors in Si-28 field-effect transistors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 3 (2007).

  6. D. Wasserman, C. Gmachl, S. A. Lyon, and E. A. Shaner, "Multiple wavelength anisotropically polarized mid-infrared emission from InAs quantum dots," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 3 (2006).

  7. A. M. Tyryshkin, J. J. L. Morton, A. Ardavan, and S. A. Lyon, "Davies electron-nuclear double resonance revisited: Enhanced sensitivity and nuclear spin relaxation," J. Chem. Phys. 124, 7 (2006).

  8. T. Schenkel, J. A. Liddle, A. Persaud, A. M. Tyryshkin, S. A. Lyon, R. de Sousa, K. B. Whaley, J. Bokor, J. Shangkuan, and I. Chakarov, "Electrical activation and electron spin coherence of ultralow dose antimony implants in silicon," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 3 (2006).

  9. J. J. L. Morton, A. M. Tyryshkin, A. Ardavan, S. C. Benjamin, K. Porfyrakis, S. A. Lyon, and G. A. D. Briggs, "Bang-bang control of fullerene qubits using ultrafast phase gates," Nat. Phys. 2, 40 (2006).

  10. S. A. Lyon, "Spin-based quantum computing using electrons on liquid helium," Phys. Rev. A 74, 6 (2006).

  11. F. R. Bradbury, A. M. Tyryshkin, G. Sabouret, J. Bokor, T. Schenkel, and S. A. Lyon, "Stark tuning of donor electron spins in silicon," Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 4 (2006).

  12. A. M. Tyryshkin, S. A. Lyon, W. Jantsch, and F. Schaffler, "Spin manipulation of free two-dimensional electrons in Si/SiGe quantum wells," Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 4 (2005).

  13. J. J. L. Morton, A. M. Tyryshkin, A. Ardavan, K. Porfyrakis, S. A. Lyon, and G. A. D. Briggs, "High fidelity single qubit operations using pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance," Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 4 (2005).

  14. D. Wasserman, and S. A. Lyon, "Cleaved-edge overgrowth of aligned quantum dots on strained layers of InGaAs," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 5352 (2004).

  15. E. A. Shaner, and S. A. Lyon, "Picosecond time-resolved two-dimensional ballistic electron transport," Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 4 (2004).