Top talent to boost State’s quantum materials future

Professor Glenn Solomon

Professor Glenn Solomon

South Australia’s expertise and capabilities in advanced materials that underpin future industries such as those developing the next-generation of computers, will be given a boost, thanks to the appointment of one of the world’s leading experts in quantum materials to the University of Adelaide.

Professor Glenn Solomon has been appointed as the inaugural Hicks Chair of Quantum Materials, and will be arriving in Adelaide next month from the Joint Quantum Institute, a collaboration between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland in the USA.

Professor Solomon’s research pushes the boundaries of our understanding of the interaction of light with semiconductor materials and device structures.

His position in the University’s School of Physical Sciences was made possible through a bequest from University of Adelaide alumnus Warren Hicks. Mr Hicks studied a Bachelor of Sciences before going on to enjoy a successful career as a chemist.

“Universities are defined by their people: recruiting and supporting top-talent researchers in key academic domains is fundamental to enhancing the University’s international standing.”Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.

Professor Solomon is an esteemed scientist whose research combines quantum optics techniques and semiconductor crystal growth and processing.

“I am delighted to be joining the University of Adelaide because of its incredibly vibrant ecosystem in quantum materials and devices. I hope to bring a new lens to the University’s physics and engineering community. I believe strongly that a variety of experiences can lead to enhanced creativity and innovation,” he said.

Professor Solomon is also joining the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) which creates transformational new approaches to sensing in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group and Silanna Pty Ltd a global semiconductor manufacturer. Together, they have created a state-of-the-art advanced semiconductor facility for the creation of quantum materials and electro-optic devices in Adelaide.

“I am excited that Professor Solomon has chosen to join the University of Adelaide. He has been recruited under our Top Talent program, which seeks to attract the best minds to South Australia,” said Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.

“Universities are defined by their people: recruiting and supporting top-talent researchers in key academic domains is fundamental to enhancing the University’s international standing.

“Professor Solomon will lead a program that will deliver research outcomes that will contribute to local, national and global wellbeing.”

Professor Solomon is one of few scientists in the world who has both fabricated nanostructures of quantum dots and performed quantum optics experiments on devices made from them.

“We are pleased to welcome Professor Solomon to the University of Adelaide’s research community,” said Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

“He will work alongside some of the world’s leading scientists at the University of Adelaide and enhance our exisitng quantum materials sovereign capability.”

Quantum materials have a wide variety of applications such as the development of artificial intelligence and quantum-based computing chips which will enable the next-generation of computers to quickly tackle incredibly complex tasks that are beyond the practical capabilities of today’s technology; and new ultra-secure communications and information transfer.

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“South Australia is perfectly placed to be at the forefront of developing quantum materials due to the unique blend of expertise and knowledge that exists within the state’s research and business community,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“World-class work carried out here in South Australia will put us at the forefront of the quantum revolution which will help society to continue to prosper and remain safe.

“As the third most liveable city in the world, Adelaide continues to attract the best and brightest from around the world.”

Professor Solomon is a Fellow of both the Optical Society (2018) for pioneering the development of semiconductor quantum dot optical materials and device structures for solid-state quantum optics and of the American Physical Society (2007) for recognizing extensive contributions to the study of quantum optics with quantum dots.

Professor Solomon will join the University of Adelaide in July 2021.

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