Quantum Nano-electronics lab
Gil-Ho Lee (Physics)
Quantum mechanics, observed at the nanoscale with one nanometer equaling one billionth of a meter, barely manifests its characteristics in our day-to-day lives. While this emerging discipline of physics offers plausible explanations on a wide array of phenomena that we can’t readily comprehend with human intuition, there still remains much to be discovered. Meanwhile, superconductivity or quantum computing holds the potential to change our lives at one single swoop.
The Quantum Nano-electronics Lab headed by professor Gil-Ho Lee at the Department of Physics, POSTECH, engages in experimental physics research to bring quantum mechanics closer to our daily lives. One prime example is the fabrication of electronic devices through the use of quantum mechanical properties that are achieved by combining superconductors with graphene that is composed of carbon atoms positioned in a two-dimensional hexagonal design.
The Lab developed an ultra-high-sensitivity detector by leveraging a graphene-based Josephson junction to measure the strength of microwaves at the theoretically maximal level of 1 attowatt, which equals to 1.0E-18 watt, per second, and published its findings at the prestigious international journal of ‘Nature’ in September 2020. These microwaves have already found their application in our daily lives, from microwave ovens to 5G telecommunication frequencies, and are now exploring new opportunities in quantum computing and other quantum information technologies. Once this technology developed by the Quantum Nano-electronics Lab is successfully translated into devices, this is expected to change the measurement approach taken by quantum computing and completely revolutionize the landscape of quantum computing research and development.
Research is also under way on topological quantum mechanics by extending the concepts of topology, which have been dealt with in mathematics, to quantum mechanics. The study of topology belongs to mathematics and primarily probes into such geometric features as connectedness or continuity. Devices fabricated with topological materials are able to deliver quantum mechanical properties, and thus draw attention for their potential for finding applications as well as for extending the boundary of theoretical quantum mechanics. Last July, the Lab demonstrated the existence of high-order topological matters through the experimentation conducted on superconducting devices. The research outcomes were featured at ‘Nature Materials’ to open up the potential to verify the phenomenon of topological superconductivity.
With such disruptive technologies as quantum computing, quantum mechanics is gaining prominence as a leader in science and technology research with Google, Intel and other diverse players joining. The Quantum Nano-electronics Lab is specifically focused on new types of quantum mechanics. Researchers at the Lab aim to harness the power of quantum mechanics at their command to study quantum devices, and are working to bridg the gap between theory and application and to enable the application of quantum mechanics in so doing.
Head of Lab