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Quantum Science & Technology

Quantum science and devices is a research area that is developing new concepts and hardware for information processing and communications using theoretical computer science, atomic physics and optics. Its practical significance has steadily grown since 2005 when the smallest features in commodity microprocessors surpassed the semi-wavelength of relevant photons, and some transistor components became only several atoms thick. These dramatic developments have not yet been fully appreciated by the broader research community, but hint at fundamental changes in the design of future electronic computers and communications. According to theoretical evidence, quantum algorithms that exploit atomic-scale phenomena can outperform the best known conventional algorithms in important cases. Our department’s research program in this domain encompasses a variety of fields in electrical and computer engineering, as well as computer science. Our faculty and graduate students are studying and advancing nano-technologies, quantum computing, quantum information science, as well as quantum communications and cryptography. 

Quantum mechanics has played an important role in many areas of engineering for decades now, fueling an increasing number of fundamental breakthroughs, as available devices become smaller and individual particles can be precisely controlled in the lab. Newly observed phenomena are often best explained using quantum theory, facilitating new technologies and applications. In particular, accounting for quantized energy levels and the Fermi nature of electrons in semiconductors has lead to more accurate modeling and optimization of CMOS transistors, as well as new results on capacitively-coupled quantum dots. Scientists and engineers have also found that the quantum phase and electronic spin can carry information, as well as facilitate communication and information processing. The use of quantum phase promises to bring a new a new revolution in electron-based technology the way optical phase revolutionized information processing and storage by means of holography. 

New advances result from close collaborations between different groups. For example, joint research by experts in semiconductor physics and ultrafast optics demonstrated information transfer from classical optical field to the quantum phase of an electron. Such discoveries are set to dominate technology as we approach the end of Moore’s law for device scaling on semiconductor chips. And they will require the development of new techniques for quantum control, circuit optimization, computer architecture and algorithms that parallel and extend those for current computers.


  • Integrated Photonics and Optoelectronics with Quantum Confined Heterostructures
  • Quantum Design Automation
  • Quantum Optics and Information

ECE Faculty

Pallab Bhattacharya


Parag Deotare


Stephen Forrest


Mackillo Kira


Pei-Cheng Ku


Mark Kushner


Duncan Steel


Zhaohui Zhong


CSE Faculty

John Hayes


Affiliated Faculty

Steven Cundiff

Rachel Goldman


Roberto Merlin



Qile Wu

News Feed

“Egg carton” quantum dot array could lead to ultralow power devices

By putting a twist on new “2D” semiconductors, researchers have demonstrated their potential for using single photons to transmit information.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors.

The new quantum spurs action by the Michigan Quantum Science & Technology Working Group

The new working group showcased Michigan’s strength in Quantum Science at a workshop attended by researchers throughout the University of Michigan.

It takes two photonic qubits to make quantum computing possible

Professors Ku and Steel are applying their expertise to take key next steps toward practical quantum computing

Blue Sky: Up to $10M toward research so bold, some of it just might fail

Inspired by startup funding models, Michigan Engineering reinvents its internal R&D grant structure.

Light could make semiconductor computers a million times faster or even go quantum

Electron states in a semiconductor, set and changed with pulses of light, could be the 0 and 1 of future “lightwave” electronics or room-temperature quantum computers.

‘Photon glue’ enables a new quantum mechanical state

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Queens College used light to create links between organic and inorganic semiconductors in an optical cavity.

A new laser paradigm: An electrically injected polariton laser

“It is no longer a scientific curiosity. It’s a real device.”

Advancing secure communications: A better single-photon emitter for quantum cryptography

The new device improves upon the current technology and is much easier to make.

Scientific Milestone: A room temperature Bose-Einstein condensate

A BEC is an unusual state of matter in which a group of boson particles can exist in a single quantum state, allowing scientists to observe novel quantum phenomena.

Organic laser breakthrough

The team is working toward building organic lasers that, like many inorganic lasers today, can be excited with electricity rather than light.

Duncan Steel will advance quantum information processes in new MURI

Steel will concentrate his efforts on solid state systems, specifically with epitaxially grown InAs/lGaAs semiconductor quantum dots.