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UT Austin’s Li Receives 2018 TAMEST O’Donnell Science Award

Photonics Handbook
Xiaoqin Elaine Li, an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Physics is the recipient of the 2018 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science from the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Xiaoqin Elaine Li"The TAMEST Edith and Peter O'Donnell Awards showcase the best and brightest among Texas researchers," said Gordon England, president of TAMEST. "Their work is helping to advance science and open new pathways to discovery. We're proud to recognize Dr. Xiaoqin Elaine Li for her achievements." 

Li 's research focuses on the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale in quantum materials. Her innovative work has helped create and control materials that can emit one photon at a time. The creation and manipulation of these materials could open the door to major advances in energy, communications and computing.

"Dr. Li's research makes a number of things potentially possible, one being completely secure communications," said Jack L. Ritchie, department chair and professor in the department of physics at UT Austin. "She is doing the kind of foundational research that could lead to new types of improved solar cells and perhaps ultimately build new types of computers."

Li has made seminal contributions at the frontier of quantum phenomena in solids and the interaction of light and matter on the nanoscale. Her research addresses the following grand challenges and questions: Can individual electrons be controlled for use as building blocks for information processing devices such as quantum computers? Can the quantum coherent properties of electrons be harnessed to improve the efficiency of energy transfer processes, ultimately leading to better solar cells and lasers? Can one design artificial materials in nanoscales that exhibit properties that simply do not exist in naturally available materials?

To answer these questions, Li has performed some of most challenging experiments in controlling individual electrons in quantum-confined materials. She has implemented sophisticated ultrafast optical spectroscopy methods to unravel the intricate interaction and quantum phenomena in materials. More recently, her group has worked on the assembly and characterization of artificial molecules that exhibit exotic properties. In addition, her group has taken on completely new research directions on investigating magnetic materials that may lead to a new generation of thermoelectric applications or improved memory devices based on topological spin texture.

TAMEST is the state's premier scientific organization, bringing together Texas' leading scientists and researchers. TAMEST membership includes all Texas-based members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the state's Nobel Laureates.

GLOSSARY
quantum
Smallest amount into which the energy of a wave can be divided. The quantum is proportional to the frequency of the wave. See photon.
Businesseducationresearch and developmentXiaoqin Elaine LipeopleUniversity of Texas at AustinUT AustinEdith and Peter O’Donnell AwardAcademy of Medicine Engineering and Science of TexasTAMESTawardsquantumnanomaterialsAmericas

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