Brendon Lovett is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Proleptic Reader in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews.
Dr Lovett is a theoretical physicist whose aim is to understand the quantum properties of nanomaterials. His work has applications ranging from quantum information processing to solar energy harvesting.
He works closely with experimental groups on the design and realization of architectures quantum computing, quantum metrology and quantum memory. His work is generally concerned with solid state or molecular systems, examples including semiconductor quantum dots, fullerenes and defects in crystals. He is particularly interested in optical control of electronic states in these materials, and co-wrote a 2010 book on the topic entitled “Introduction to Optical Quantum Information Processing”.
Energy harvesting in photovoltaic cells relies on the creation and transport of electronic excitations in molecules or semiconductors. Lovett’s group uses quantum theory to understand how this process can be understood and optimized for efficient conversion of sunlight into electrical energy.
Nearly all this work relies on understanding quantum systems that interact with an environment, whose properties can only be described incompletely. Lovett and his group therefore use and develop the theory of open quantum systems, and exploit it for practical problems.
The research is funded through grants from the ESPRC, Leverhulme Trust and DARPA, held jointly with groups from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton, Heriot-Watt University, UCL and the University of Princeton.