Cushing Named 2021 KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience

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Scott Cushing, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, is selected as the next KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience.

Scott Cushing

December 15, 2020

Scott Cushing, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been named the 2021 KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience for his research proposal on "On-Chip Entangled Photon Spectroscopy". With the funding provided through this award, Cushing and his team will develop entangled photon sources capable of exploiting quantum advantages in multiphoton nonlinear spectroscopy. They plan to achieve this goal by using a completely nanofabricated on-chip form factor, making potential inclusion in mobile or weight sensitive spectroscopy applications possible. Through this effort, Cushing's research will help to create further improvements in the capabilities of LN fabrication at Caltech. His project will also foster new growth in deep UV-NIR wavelength regimes and spur on new research avenues within Caltech's photonics and quantum communities.

The Cushing research group specializes in the development of spectroscopic techniques that can answer materials and physical chemistry questions. Two of the group's main focus areas are 1) renewable energy systems: transient XUV spectroscopy has been used to understand how polarons mediate photochemistry, to measure hole transport layer by layer in protected photoelectrodes, and is now being used to study ion migration in battery and membrane materials; and 2) entangled photon interactions: studying how the stimuli-response relationships of chemical and biological systems can be incorporated in quantum computing, information, or bio-sensing applications. Entangled light-matter interactions are also used to study correlated phenomena in condensed matter systems.

The KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience was established in 2016 as a result of a generous endowment from Caltech alumni Chuck Wheatley and his wife Judy. This award provides $25,000 of seed funding to one tenure-track Caltech faculty member selected among candidates nominated by Division Chairs and the KNI Board members at Caltech. Early stage proof-of-concept demonstrations are often difficult to support. As envisioned, this unrestricted funding will allow junior faculty in nanoscience the flexibility to pursue novel research ideas.

Congratulations, Scott!