KNI-Wheatley Scholars

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 Judith. This new initiative provides $25,000 of seed funding to one tenure-track 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.


2018 KNI-Wheatley Scholar Stevan Nadj-Perge

KNI-Wheatley Scholar 2017-2018

Stevan Nadj-Perge

Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Stevan Nadj-Perge has been named the 2017 KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience for his proposal to develop a novel nanofabrication technique to integrate atomic size objects, such as atomic chains, into superconducting interferometer devices. This research is a part of a broader effort in his lab to establish experimental protocols for controlling the so-called Majorana bound states (MBSs) formed in atomic chains that are placed on the surface of a superconductor, where the Majorana states refer the zero energy excitations localized at the edges of one-dimensional topological superconductors that are predicted to exhibit non-Abelian statistics upon exchange and are considered to be a starting point for realization of topological quantum bits (qubits).

The Nadj-Perge lab is interested in developing mesoscopic devices for applications in quantum information processing. Such devices also provide a playground for exploring exotic electronic states at (sub)-nano length scales. The primary experimental approaches for the research involve scanning tunneling microscopy and electrical transport measurement techniques at cryogenic temperatures.





Andrei Faraon

KNI-Wheatley Scholar 2016-2017

Andrei Faraon

Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Andrei Faraon was named the 2016 KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience for his proposal to study the disruptive potential of metasurfaces and their potential use in novel optical imaging systems. The research will be conducted in collaboration with researchers at Harvard, UCLA and Johns Hopkins. The topics that Faraon is studying include holographic microscopy, 3D microscopy, neural imaging and wide-field magnetrometry.

The Faraon Lab develops nano-photonic quantum technologies for devices that operate close to the fundamental limit of light-matter interaction. Quantum photonics applications include on-chip optical quantum memories, single optically-addressable quantum bits, quantum conversion of photons in different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. Classical nano-photonics applications include micron-thick optical devices for free-space optics, ultra-fast optical beam steering, ultra-compact microscopy.