Chong Zu joins the Department of Physics

Chong Zu will join the Department of Physics on July 1, 2021 as an Assistant Professor.

Zu's research employs solid-state spin defects (e.g. nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond) for two overarching directions: (1) quantum-enhanced sensing, and (2) quantum simulation and computation.

In recent years, the synergies between atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, condensed matter physics and quantum information have led to tremendous experimental progress in assembling, controlling, and detecting of individual quantum systems. These advances have opened the door to revolutionizing computing, allowing novel and secure multiparty communication protocols, and ushering vast improvements in the performance of sensors. This is exactly what Dr. Zu’s research lab is dedicated to: exploring the quantum advantages using optically addressable solid-state spin defects.

On the quantum sensing front, strong couplings between individual spin defects and external environments offer a novel localized probe for a myriad of signals, including magnetic and electric fields, strain and temperature. Compared to conventional methods, such platforms offer nanoscale spatial resolution and the ability to operate under a wide variety of external conditions — e.g. ranging from cryogenic (10 mK) to high temperatures (600 K), from ambient to megabar pressures and in the case of biological samples, directly in-vivo.

On the quantum simulation and computation front, strong magnetic dipolar interactions among spin defects themselves provide a natural playground to experimentally investigate quantum many-body dynamics (e.g. emergent hydrodynamics, thermalization and localizations) in regimes that are especially difficult to study via analytical calculations or numerical simulations. Such platforms hold the promise to realize a room temperature prototype for quantum simulation and computation.

Chong Zu received his B.S. in physics and mathematics from Tsinghua University in 2011. After completing his Ph.D. in Professor Luming Duan’s group at Tsinghua University in 2016, he began postdoctoral work at University of California, Berkeley in Professor Norman Yao’s group.