Princeton University Scientist Win Quantum Computing Award From the American Physical Society

Nathalie de Leon, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Princeton University in New Jersey, won the Rolf Landauer and Charles H. Bennett Award in Quantum Computing from the American Physical Society for her contributions to experimental quantum information science. The Landauer-Bennett Award recognizes recent outstanding contributions in quantum information science, especially using quantum effects to perform computational and information-management tasks that would be impossible or infeasible by purely classical means.

The citation for the award stated that Dr. de Leon was honored “for substantial contributions to the field of experimental quantum information science with an emphasis on materials discovery and enhancement, and using materials to enable improved coherence across a wide range of physical platforms for quantum computing, sensing, and communication.”

Dr. de Leon has pioneered an effort to use diamonds as platforms for quantum technologies. While the cut stones of the jewelry world are typically prized for their beauty, de Leon has shown how to manufacture artificial diamonds with precisely controlled imperfections, sometimes called color centers, that enable researchers to manipulate individual electrons. In other research, she and colleagues found that using the metal tantalum in a key part of a circuit produced a threefold extension in the lifetime of its information — the most significant improvement to such a device in nearly a decade.

Dr. de Leon joined the faculty at Princeton in 2016. She is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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