Kenneth R Brown

Kenneth R Brown

Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Associate Professor of Physics (Joint)

Associate Professor of Chemistry (Secondary)

Associate Professor of Physics (Secondary)

Office Location: 
701 W Main St, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27701
(919) 660-1376


Prof. Brown's research interest is the control of quantum systems for both understanding the natural world and developing new technologies. His current research areas are the development of robust quantum computers and the study of molecular properties at cold and ultracold temperatures.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of California - Berkeley 2003

  • B.S., University of Puget Sound 1998

Selected Grants

Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed awarded by Sandia National Laboratories (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2023

PFCQC: STAQ: Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2023

Collaborative Research: EPiQC:Enabling Practical-Scale Quantum Computation awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2023

Quantum-hardware focused application performance benchmarks awarded by Department of Energy (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2022

Scaling Modular and Reconfigurable Quantum Systems awarded by University of Maryland (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Quantum Computing in Chemical and Material Sciences awarded by Department of Energy (Co-Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Quantum control based on real-time environment analysis by spectator qubits awarded by Army Research Office (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

MRI: Development of a Programmable Ion-Trap Quantum Computer awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Control and Spectroscopy of Single Molecular Ions awarded by Army Research Office (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Precision Chemical Dynamics and Quantum Control of Ultracold Molecular Ion Reactions awarded by Georgia Institute of Technology (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2020


Merrill, J. T., and K. R. Brown. Progress in compensating pulse sequences for quantum computation. Vol. 154, 2014, pp. 241–94. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9781118742631.ch10. Full Text

Nam, Y., et al. “Ground-state energy estimation of the water molecule on a trapped-ion quantum computer.” Npj Quantum Information, vol. 6, no. 1, Dec. 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1038/s41534-020-0259-3. Full Text

Shi, Y., et al. “Resource-Efficient Quantum Computing by Breaking Abstractions.” Proceedings of the Ieee, vol. 108, no. 8, Aug. 2020, pp. 1353–70. Scopus, doi:10.1109/JPROC.2020.2994765. Full Text

Huang, S., et al. “Fault-tolerant weighted union-find decoding on the toric code.” Physical Review A, vol. 102, no. 1, July 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.102.012419. Full Text

Debroy, D. M., et al. “Logical performance of 9 qubit compass codes in ion traps with crosstalk errors.” Quantum Science and Technology, vol. 5, no. 3, July 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab7e80. Full Text

Huang, S., and K. R. Brown. “Fault-tolerant compass codes.” Physical Review A, vol. 101, no. 4, Apr. 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.101.042312. Full Text

Jyothi, S., et al. “A hybrid ion-atom trap with integrated high resolution mass spectrometer.” Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 90, no. 10, Oct. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.5121431. Full Text Open Access Copy

Brown, N. C., and K. R. Brown. “Leakage mitigation for quantum error correction using a mixed qubit scheme.” Physical Review A, vol. 100, no. 3, Sept. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.100.032325. Full Text

Landsman, K. A., et al. “Two-qubit entangling gates within arbitrarily long chains of trapped ions.” Physical Review A, vol. 100, no. 2, Aug. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.100.022332. Full Text

Li, M., et al. “2D Compass Codes.” Physical Review X, vol. 9, no. 2, May 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.9.021041. Full Text

Murphy, D. C., and K. R. Brown. “Controlling error orientation to improve quantum algorithm success rates.” Physical Review A, vol. 99, no. 3, Mar. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.99.032318. Full Text


Gokhale, P., et al. “Asymptotic improvements to quantum circuits via qutrits.” Proceedings  International Symposium on Computer Architecture, 2019, pp. 554–66. Scopus, doi:10.1145/3307650.3322253. Full Text

Javadi-Abhari, A., et al. “Optimized surface code communication in superconducting quantum computers.” Proceedings of the Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, Micro, vol. Part F131207, 2017, pp. 692–705. Scopus, doi:10.1145/3123939.3123949. Full Text

Brown, K. R., et al. “Laser-cooled atomic ions as probes of molecular ions.” Aip Conference Proceedings, vol. 1642, 2015, pp. 392–95. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.4906702. Full Text

Heckey, J., et al. “Compiler management of communication and parallelism for quantum computation.” International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems  Asplos, vol. 2015-January, 2015, pp. 445–56. Scopus, doi:10.1145/2694344.2694357. Full Text

Kudrow, D., et al. “Quantum rotations: A case study in static and dynamic machine-code generation for quantum computers.” Proceedings  International Symposium on Computer Architecture, 2013, pp. 166–76. Scopus, doi:10.1145/2485922.2485937. Full Text

Brown, K. R. “Sympathetic heating spectroscopy: Probing molecular ions with laser-cooled atomic ions.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, 2010.