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Jennifer Choy works in the lab
January 17, 2023

Assistant Professor Jennifer Choy joins ECE

Written By: Jason Daley

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Assistant Professor Jennifer Choy has joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, moving over from the Department of Engineering Physics, which she joined in 2019. Choy’s research focuses on developing quantum sensors and their miniaturization using nanoscale optics and photonics. This research could lead to advances in ultraprecise and compact accelerometers and magnetometers, which are useful in navigation and detecting miniscule changes in magnetic fields.

“ECE is a natural fit for my research,” says Choy. “I’m very happy to join and support the growth of quantum research in the department.”

Choy earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and nuclear science and engineering from MIT before completing a PhD in applied physics at Harvard. After that, she was a principal member of the technical staff at Draper Laboratory, a nonprofit research and development organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she developed atomic and optical inertial sensors for precision navigation.

Since joining UW-Madison, Choy has focused on developing quantum sensors that use an atom’s quantum properties to take measurements with incredible precision and accuracy.

In particular, Choy’s lab is working on two complementary quantum platforms. Solid-state color centers use electrons trapped in vacancies in diamonds as sensors and are very sensitive to local changes in temperature, strain and magnetic field. Choy and her lab are working on techniques to create stable color centers and improve their sensitivity for material characterizations at the nanoscale. Her group also works with cold neutral alkali atoms and has been developing chip-scale, near-infrared polarization optics for atomic magnetometers. These could enable compact, sensitive magnetic-field-imaging devices.

The scope of Choy’s work includes experimental atomic physics and optics, nanophotonic device design and fabrication, and materials characterization.

Featured image caption: Assistant Professor Jennifer Choy works in the lab. Credit: Sabrina Wu.