Homepage of Dr. Enrique (Erik) Blair

Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to the homepage of Dr. Erik Blair.

My background includes the following:

  • Associate Professor, Baylor University (2021-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Baylor University (2015-2021)
  • Military Instructor, U.S. Naval Academy (2008-2010)
  • Submarine service, U.S. Navy (2004-2007)

Links

Research

Our research interests include:

  • Molecular computing using quantum-dot cellular automata
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Open quantum systems
  • Quantum computational materials science (Hartree-Fock, density functional theory, post-Hartree-Fock methods)

Research Topics

Quantum-dot Cellular Automata

QCA is a highly interdisciplinary field of research. Electrical engineers, computer engineers, computer scientists, physicists, and chemists all have made significant contributions to the research literature on QCA.

QCA is a paradigm for transistor-less logic devices built from elementary devices called “cells.” Cells are structures having multiple quantum dots to localize mobile charge, and classical bits are encoded in the charge configuration of a cell. Cells couple locally to neighboring cells via the electric field, and arrays of cells are arranged to form logic devices. Cells may be implemented using mixed-valence molecules. Molecular devices offer ultra-high device densities, high-speed operation, and low power dissipation. See the video below for some examples of QCA circuitry at work. Devices like these could revolutionize the electronics industry.

Dr. Blair’s work in QCA has focused on the theory and modeling of power dissipation, electron transfer, and quantum decoherence in molecular QCA. His work includes a demonstration of methods for reducing power density by avoiding the dissipation of bit energies; a calculation of the upper bound for power dissipation in molecular QCA clocking circuitry; and a demonstration that environmentally-driven quantum decoherence stabilizes bits on molecular QCA.

Present work focuses on molecular design using ab initio modeling; device-level models of power dissipation; and design of QCA circuits.

See some simulations of QCA circuits in action below.

Select a circuit:

Here is a brief introduction to the concept of QCA:

Here is a more in-depth introduction to the concept of QCA:

Quantum Information Sciences

Quantum computing promises methods to efficiently solve problems very difficult to solve classically. Quantum communication schemes are provably secure. We are using density functional theory (DFT) to explore new ways to implement quantum bits (qubits) in both crystalline materials and molecules. Also, machine learning could be leveraged in the design of these materials and molecules.

The Quantum Mechanics of Smell

QCA is a highly interdisciplinary field of research. Electrical engineers, computer engineers, computer scientists, physicists, and chemists all have made significant contributions to the research literature on QCA.

QCA is a paradigm for transistor-less logic devices built from elementary devices called “cells.” Cells are structures having multiple quantum dots to localize mobile charge, and classical bits are encoded in the charge configuration of a cell. Cells couple locally to neighboring cells via the electric field, and arrays of cells are arranged to form logic devices. Cells may be implemented using mixed-valence molecules. Molecular devices offer ultra-high device densities, high-speed operation, and low power dissipation. See the video below for some examples of QCA circuitry at work. Devices like these could revolutionize the electronics industry.

Dr. Blair’s work in QCA has focused on the theory and modeling of power dissipation, electron transfer, and quantum decoherence in molecular QCA. His work includes a demonstration of methods for reducing power density by avoiding the dissipation of bit energies; a calculation of the upper bound for power dissipation in molecular QCA clocking circuitry; and a demonstration that environmentally-driven quantum decoherence stabilizes bits on molecular QCA.

This could unravel mysteries in the sense of olfaction with a wide range of applications. Such applications lie within the realms of safety and security, health and human performance. Some examples include:

  • Safety and security. New and improved electronic noses could be placed in key locations to detect dangerous gasses or other harmful or explosive chemicals. This can improve safety at airports, military installations, and cities.
  • Health and human performance. The human olfactory receptor is known to belong to a family of chemical receptors found throughout the human body, many of which are known to play a pivotal role in the body’s response to drugs. Insights gained from this work could transfer to other receptors within the mammalian nervous system and lead to enhanced drug designs and superior drug effectiveness models.
  • Global health. A better understanding of olfaction could lead to new ways to mask odors and reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases, especially in the tropics.

Research Team

Current Members

  • Yuhui Lu, Ph.D. (scientific consultant)
  • Joe Cong (Ph.D. student)
  • Nishat Liza (Ph.D. student)
  • Kyle Monk (undergraduate researcher)
  • Dylan Murphey (undergraduate researcher)

Past Contributors

  • Shengyang Zhou (M.Eng., 2021)
  • Heath McCabe (B.S., 2019)
  • Joe Previti (B.S., 2019)
  • Jackson Henry (M.S., 2019)
  • Nishat Liza (M.S., 2019)

Publications

Preprints

  1. P. Cong and E.P. Blair, "Robust Electric-field Input Circuits for Clocked Molecular Qauntum-dot Cellular Automata," arXiv:2103.03396 [quant-ph] (2021).

Journal Articles

Year Journal/Citation Title Authors
2020 IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology 19, 292-296. doi: 10.1109/TNANO.2020.2978859; arXiv [PDF] Tunable, Hardware-based Quantum Random Number Generation using Coupled Quantum Dots H. McCabe, S.M. Koziol, G.L. Snider, and E.P. Blair
2020 Journal of Applied Physics 127, 084303. doi: 10.1063/1.5129175; arXiv [PDF] Non-Markovian Models of Environmentally-driven Disentanglement in Molecular Charge Qubits S. Zhou and E.P. Blair
2019 IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology 18, 453-460. doi: 10.1109/TNANO.2019.2910823; arXiv [PDF] Electric-field Inputs for Molecular Quantum-dot Cellular Automata Circuits E.P. Blair
2019 Journal of Applied Physics 125, 144701. doi: 10.1063/1.5086053; arXiv [PDF] An Explicit Electron-Vibron Model for Olfactory Inelastic Electron Transfer Spectroscopy N. Liza and E.P. Blair
2018 Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications 8 (3), 31. doi: 10.3390/jlpea8030031 Clock Topologies for Molecular Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata E.P. Blair and C.S. Lent
2018 Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 30, 195602. doi: 10.1088/1361-648X/aab98d; arXiv Entanglement loss in molecular quantum-dot qubits due to interaction with the environment E.P. Blair, G. Toth, and C.S. Lent
2018 Journal of Applied Physics 123, 065302. doi: 10.1063/1.5019858 [PDF] The role of the tunneling matrix element and reorganization energy in the design of quantum-dot cellular automata molecules J. Henry and E.P. Blair
2017 Journal of Applied Physics 122, 084304. doi: 10.1063/1.4993450 [PDF] Operator-sum models of quantum decoherence in molecular quantum-dot cellular automata J.S. Ramsey and E.P. Blair
2016 Journal of Chemical Physics 145, 014307. doi: 10.1063/1.4955113 [PDF] Electric-field-driven Electron-transfer in Mixed-Valence Molecules E.P. Blair, S.A. Corcelli, and C.S. Lent
2013 Journal of Applied Physics 113, 124302. doi: 10.1063/1.4796186 [PDF] Environmental decoherence stabilizes quantum-dot cellular automata E.P. Blair and C.S. Lent
2011 Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience 8, 972-982. doi: 10.1166/jctn.2011.1777 Signal energy in QCA bit packets E.P. Blair, M. Liu, and C.S. Lent
2009 Journal of Computational Electronics 9, 49-55. doi: 10.1007/s10825-009-0304-0 [PDF] Power dissipation in clocking wires for clocked molecular quantum-dot cellular automata E.P. Blair, E. Yost, and C.S. Lent

Conference Articles

Conference/Citation Title Authors
Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing (ICRC 2018), November 7-9, 2018 (Tysons, Virginia). [PDF] Electric-field Bit Write-in for Clocked Molecular Quantum-dot Cellular Automata Circuits J. Henry, J. Previti, and E.P. Blair
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing 2017 (ICRC 2017), November 8-9, 2017 (Arlington, Virginia). [PDF] Neuromorphic Computation using Quantum-dot Cellular Automata E.P. Blair and S.M. Koziol
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing 2016 (ICRC 2016), October 17-19, 2016 (San Diego, California). [PDF] Molecular Cellular Networks: a non-von Neumann architecture for Molecular Electronics C.S. Lent, K.W. Henderson, S.A. Kandel, S.A. Corcelli, G.L Snider, A.O. Orlov, P.M. Kogge, M.T. Niemier, R.C Brown, J.A. Christie, N.A. Wasio, R.C. Quardokus, R.P. Forrest, J.P. Peterson, A. Silski, D.A. Turner, E.P. Blair, and Y. Lu
2016 American Society for Engineering Education Gulf-Southwest Annual Regional Conference, March 8-16, 2016 (Fort Worth, Texas). Using Creative Problem Solving to Engage non-electrical-engineering Majors in a Required Circuit Theory Course E.P. Blair
Proceedings of the Twelfth IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2012), August 20-23, 2012 (Birmingham, UK). There is no Landauer limit: experimental tests of the Landauer principle G.L. Snider, E.P. Blair, C.C. Thorpe, B.T. Appleton, G.P. Boechler, A.O. Orlov, and C.S. Lent
Proceedings of the Eleventh IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2011), August 15-18, 2011 (Portland, OR). Minimum energy for computation, theory vs. experiment G.L. Snider, E.P. Blair, G.P. Boechler, C.C. Thorpe, N.W. Bosler, M.J. Wohlwend, J.M. Whitney, C.S. Lent and A.O. Orlov
Proceedings of the Third IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2003), August 6-8, 2003 (San Francisco, California). [PDF] Quantum-dot cellular automata: an architecture for molecular computing E.P. Blair and C.S. Lent

Teaching

I teach a variety of courses. These have included:

  • Quantum Mechanics for Engineers
  • Introduction to Quantum Computing
  • Principles of Electronic Communication Systems
  • Electric Circuit Theory
  • Engineering Analysis

Awards and Honors

  • Research Grant, Office of Naval Research, Code 312 Nanoscale Computing Devices and Systems (May 2020 - May 2023)
  • Summer Sabbatical, Baylor University (Summer 2019)
  • Senior Member, IEEE (2019)
  • Outstanding Faculty Award (untenured, tenure-track faculty), Baylor University (2018)
  • Proposal Development Award, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Baylor University (2017)
  • Rising Star Program, Baylor University (2017-2018)
  • Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement Award, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Baylor University (2017-2018)
  • Rising Star Program, Baylor University (2016-2017)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program, National Science Foundation (2010-2015)
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, American Society for Engineering Education (2010-2013)

Interests

I'm passionate about teaching, logic, and making life more productive through computer programming. To this end, I share some of my favorite productivity tools.

Emacs Org Mode

Productivity tools don't get more powerful than this. With Emacs Org mode, you can write many types of math/science/engineering documents, including:

  1. Books
  2. Articles
  3. Websites and blogs (this page was written using Org mode)
  4. Highly-structured, scientific notes

Org documents can include very rich content, such as:

  1. Math/science symbols/equations (including chemistry symbols)
  2. Images
  3. Tables
  4. Hyperlinks
  5. Executable code in multiple languages

See my intro video to get started:

LyX

LyX is a very nice open-source front-end for LaTeX. Here are some videos I made on LyX:

Author: Enrique (Erik) Blair

Created: 2021-08-06 Fri 16:49

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