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Lilian Childress


  • Fellow
  • Quantum Information Science


Lilian Childress’ research applies notions from quantum optics and atomic physics to condensed matter systems, notably defect centres in diamond.

Over the last decade, her work has examined how electronic and nuclear spins in diamond can serve as a platform for quantum information processing and quantum-enhanced sensing. Her group at McGill is focused on two primary directions: (1) creating a spin-photon interface by integrating diamond defects into fiber-based micro-cavities and (2) investigating dynamics of spin-transfer-driven nanomagnets using defect-based probes. These projects could help to create a platform for a quantum network using photons and spins in diamond, and provide new insight into magnetic systems that play a critical role in classical (and perhaps someday quantum) computing hardware. Other recent interests include optimal qubit readout, charge state dynamics of defect centres, opto-mechanics with superfluid helium, and micro-cavity-enhanced sensing.


  • Tier II Canada Research Chair in Experimental Solid-state Quantum Optics (2013-2018, renewed 2018-2023)
  • John David Jackson Award for Excellence in Teaching (annual Physics department award, 2015-2016)
  • L’Oreal USA Fellowship for Women in Science, postdoctoral fellowship, 2012

Relevant Publications

  • Solyom†, Z. Flansberry†, M. Tschudin, N. Leitao, M. Pioro-Ladriere, J. Sankey and L. Childress. “Probing a spin transfer controlled magnetic nanowire with a single nitrogen-vacancy spin in bulk diamond.” Nano Letters 18 6494 (2018). 
  • B. D'Anjou, L. Kuret, L. Childress and W. A. Coish. “Maximal adaptive-decision speedups in quantum-state readout.” Physical Review X 6, 011017 (2016). 
  • Erika Janitz, Maximilian Ruf, Mark Dimock, Alexandre Bourassa, Jack Sankey and Lilian Childress. “Fabry-Perot microcavity for diamond-based photonics.” Physical Review A 92, 043884 (2015).
  • L. Robledo†, L. Childress†, H. Bernien†, B. Hensen, P.F.A. Alkemade, and R. Hanson.  “High-fidelity projective read-out of a solid-state spin quantum register.” Nature 477, 574 (2011).
  • L. Childress†, M. V. Gurudev Dutt†, J. M. Taylor, A. S. Zibrov, F. Jelezko, J. Wrachtrup, P. R. Hemmer, and M. D. Lukin. “Coherent dynamics of coupled electron and nuclear spin qubits in diamond.” Science 314, 281 (2006).

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