EECS PhD candidate Faraz Najafi together with another student (Qingyuan Zhao, Visiting Graduate Student) won first place for the Best Student Poster at the Applied Superconductivity Conference that was held Oct. 7-12, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.
Mr. Najafi is a second-year doctoral student in Prof. Karl Berggren's Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication Group (quantum.mit.edu) where he is working on superconducting detectors and nano-optics. His current research is the study of the fundamental physics of superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs), as well as the design and fabrication of waveguide-integrated SNSPDs to attempt to optimize the amount of information that can be communicated via single photons. This is part of an effort to approach the Shannon limit for optical communication systems, and even to exceed it by using quantum mechanics.
A past fellow of the German National Academic Foundation and the Elite Network of Bavaria, Mr. Najafi, for his thesis research, designed a cryogenic setup that allowed him to study the detection efficiency and timing performance of a new generation of SNSPDs. His results have been published in several journal articles including Nano Letters and Applied Physics Letters.