Image: Point defects in materials can have the quantum properties of isolated atoms in a technologically accessible medium.


Point defects in semiconductors and insulators can act as artificial atoms embedded in the medium of the material, which isolates them from one another and, to some extent, from the environment; therefore they exhibit quantum properties of isolated atoms without the necessity for complex isolation techniques such as ion traps or optical lattices. The solid-state framework of defects is also beneficial for scalability and incorporation into devices. Point defects have already been demonstrated as single-photon emitters for quantum communication, spin qubits for quantum computation, and nanoscale sensors for quantum metrology.

We focus on identifying novel defects and host materials with properties suited to quantum applications, and developing methodologies for accurately calculating the relevant defect processes and properties.

Related publications:

Cyrus E. Dreyer, Audrius Alkauskas, John L. Lyons, Anderson Janotti, and Chris G. Van de Walle,
First-principles calculations of point defects for quantum technologies,
Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 48, 2.1 (2018)


Chris G. Van de Walle, University of California, Santa Barbara

Audrius Alkauskas, Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Vilnius, Lithuania

John L. Lyons, United States Naval Research Lab

Anderson Janotti, University of Delaware