"Low Noise and Low Power Electronics for Radio Astronomy and Quantum Computing"

Joseph Bardin, Associate Professor, ECE, University of Massachusetts Amherst

February 20th (Tuesday), 10:00am
Harold Frank Hall (HFH), Rm. 4164 (ECE Conf. Rm.)

The most sensitive experimental systems rely upon cryogenically-cooled electronics. These systems allow scientists to push measurements towards the limits of fundamental physics, and thus have had a profound impact on experimental science. For instance, cryogenically-cooled electronic systems allow scientists to study fundamental physical phenomena through low-temperature physics experiments, to communicate with spacecraft at distant planets, to interface to quantum computers, and to probe the history and contents of the universe through radio astronomy.

In this talk, I will describe three distinct efforts related to advancing the state of the art in low-temperature instrumentation. First, I will present work focused on reducing the power consumption of cryogenic low noise amplifiers. After briefly motivating the research, the cryogenic noise performance and power requirements of silicon germanium (SiGe) heterojunction bipolar transistors will be explored and the results will be used to implement high-performance cryogenic low noise amplifiers that consume less than 300 μW—more than an order of magnitude improvement over the previous state of the art. Finally, I will show how this technology has been incorporated into a state-of-the-art 220 GHz receiver that is appropriate for use in a large-scale focal-plane array. Next, I will briefly introduce superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD) technology and explain the limitations of standard passive quenching approaches. I will show how the development of a compact simulation model describing the electrothermal dynamics of an SNSPD has enabled our design of hybrid SiGe/SNSPD circuits and will present recent results in which we actively control SNSPD normal-domain dynamics to demonstrate simultaneous improvements in achievable count rates, timing jitter, and dark count rates. Finally, I will end the talk by briefly describing some of my currents and projected efforts related to electronics for quantum computing. First, I will describe superconducting qubit technology, with an emphasis on the requirements for microwave control and measurement. I will then explain the current state of the art and contrast it to what is required if a practical fault-tolerant quantum computer is to be realized. The talk will conclude with a brief discussion of my current efforts as well as my vision of a scalable quantum control and measurement system.

About Joseph Bardin:

joseph bardin Joseph Bardin received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from UCSB in 2003, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from UCLA in 2005, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Caltech in 2009. From 2009-2010, he was a postdoc in the Caltech High-Speed Integrated Circuits Group. In 2010, he joined the ECE department at UMass Amherst, where he is currently an Associate Professor. Since August of 2017, he has been a Visiting Faculty Researcher at Google, where he is investigating low-power CMOS electronics for quantum computing. His group explores a diverse set of research topics, ranging from basic device-level studies to electronics for low-temperature scientific instrumentation and new approaches to realizing high dynamic range CMOS receivers. He was a recipient of a 2011 DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 2014 NSF CAREER Award, a 2015 ONR YIP Award, the 2016 UMass Amherst College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and a 2016 UMass Convocation Award for Outstand Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity.

Hosted by: Jim Buckwalter