David Awschalom

  • Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering, UChicago; Senior Scientist, Argonne; Director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange

  • Research topics: Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing, Condensed Matter Physics, AMO Physics, Quantum Materials, Quantum Optics, Device Physics
  • Websites: https://pme.UChicago.edu/faculty/david-awschalom
  • Contact: awsch@uchicago.edu
  • Office Location:
    Eckhardt Research Center Room 237 5640 South Ellis Avenue Chicago, IL 60637

David Awschalom is the Liew Family Professor in Spintronics and Quantum Information in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, a professor of Physics, and director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. He also holds a senior scientist and Quantum Group Leader position at Argonne National Laboratory. His research in quantum spintronics involves understanding and controlling the spins of electrons, ions, and nuclei for fundamental studies of quantum systems, as well as potential applications in computing, imaging, and encryption. 

Prof. Awschalom received his bSc in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his PhD in experimental physics from Cornell University. He was a research staff member and manager of the Nonequilibrium Physics Department at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. In 1991 he joined the University of California-Santa Barbara as a professor of physics, and in 2001 was additionally appointed as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Prior to joining PME, he served as the Peter J. Clarke Professor and Director of the California NanoSystems Institute, and director of the Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation.

Awschalom received the American Physical Society Oliver E. Buckley Prize and Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, the European Physical Society Europhysics Prize, the Materials Research Society David Turnbull Award and Outstanding Investigator Prize, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the International Magnetism Prize and the Néel Medal from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the European Academy of Sciences.

  • Awschalom Group explores optical and magnetic interactions in semiconductor quantum structures, spin dynamics and coherence in condensed matter systems, macroscopic quantum phenomena in nanometer-scale magnets, and implementations of quantum information processing in the solid state. He developed a variety of femtosecond-resolved spatiotemporal spectroscopies and micromagnetic sensing techniques aimed at exploring charge and spin motion in the quantum domain. These measurements resulted in the discovery of robust electron spin coherence, transport of coherent states, and the spin Hall effect in semiconductors.